Rumor claims Denver Broncos tried to move on from All-Pro cornerback

The Denver Broncos supposedly attempted to trade their star defensive back.
New England Patriots v Denver Broncos
New England Patriots v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

As the Denver Broncos' search for a quarterback continues to steer the course, an anonymous NFL general manager informed Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post that the team attempted to make a shocking move prior to the in-season trade deadline in 2023. According to La Canfora, the Broncos "nearly traded" All-Pro cornerback Patrick Surtain ll before reversing course following the team's encouraging winning streak prior to the trade deadline.

After Denver had won a few games, head coach Sean Payton and general manager George Paton decided it was in the team's best interest to then retain Surtain ll and turn down trade offers from the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers who attempted to get a deal done. Had they reached an agreement to move on from their former first-round pick after just two and a half seasons, this would have undoubtedly moved Denver's secondary to the lowest of tiers in the NFL.

This would have obviously been a clear indicator that the front office was completely punting on the season's hope if a trade would have been agreed to. However, if these reports are valid, why did Denver's front office find this trade possibility necessary? If the team had, in fact, went on to lose several games, they would likely be selecting in the top five picks of the upcoming NFL draft. In that scenario, the Broncos would be in prime position to select one of the top quarterback prospects or at the very most have to trade up two spots. It doesn't make sense that they would want to create a massive hole in their secondary.

Hypothetically speaking, if Denver was able to add two first-round picks in this trade, it would put the organization in a great spot in terms of future draft capital. However, receiving multiple first-round picks from a contender like the 49ers or Eagles would have meant the Broncos would be receiving very late first-round picks. The chances of the two players being selected adding up to the same value of Surtain ll's skillset is pretty unlikely, considering he has essentially solidified himself as the league's most talented cornerback. Therefore, these trade talks were likely in an effort to receive draft capital in order to move up for a top quarterback prospect.

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