NFL

Broncos HC Payton rules out trading away top receivers Jeudy and Sutton for draft capital

By Sports Desk March 26, 2023

Denver Broncos starting wide receiver tandem Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy will not be on the trade block as the team looks to recuperate some draft equity, according to head coach Sean Payton.

The Broncos gave up both their first and second-round picks for this April's NFL Draft in their blockbuster trade for former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, also sending away their first, second and fifth-rounders last year.

It means Denver will not make their first selection until early in the third round, and rival teams are aware Payton may be looking to wheel and deal in his first offseason in charge of his new team.

While that may be the case, Payton took the opportunity on Sunday to reassure his top pass-catchers that they will be sticking around this year.

"I see and read just like everyone else does," he said. "Then occasionally, when someone really crowds the plate, I throw a fastball right at their chin, and they back up, and they're like, 'All right.' 

"So, I haven't thrown any fastballs lately, but we're not trading those two players."

Payton said he understands why rumours are swirling – with ESPN reporting Denver would consider an offer for Jeudy if it involved a first-round pick – but pointed out they are not interested in getting worse in the short-term.

"When people call and the phone rings like it does this time of year, [general manager] George Paton's job is to pick it up and say, 'Hey, tell you what, we're not [interested]'," he said. "And so, we've received calls, you bet.

"Those are two good football players. But we're in the business of gathering talent right now. Why do people call? Because they know we're void of draft picks and that we might, because there was some discussions a year ago, I think, regarding Courtland. But we like the current group that we're working with."

The Broncos are entering a crucial second season with Wilson at the helm, and the franchise are desperate to see a return to form from the former Super Bowl champion.

Wilson went 4-11 in his 15 starts, while posting the lowest touchdown total (16), the worst completion percentage (60.5 per cent), and lowest QBR (36.7) of his career, while absorbing a career-high 55 sacks. It was the first season since 2016 that he was not selected for the Pro Bowl.

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    The Kansas City Police Department said at least 22 people suffered gunshot wounds, including the fatally injured victim, and confirmed three people had been taken into custody.

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    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

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    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

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    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

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    “We thank the local law enforcement officers and first responders who were on-scene to assist.”

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    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

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    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

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    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

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    Offensive lineman Trey Smith thanked first responders, adding: “You’re the ones who should be celebrated today.”

    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

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