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.

Sean Payton is the right man to get Russell Wilson's career back on track, according to the quarterback's former coach Pete Carroll.

Carroll and Wilson reached two Super Bowls together with the Seattle Seahawks after the latter was drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Wilson earned Pro Bowl honours nine times with the Seahawks and threw two touchdowns as the team beat the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

But the relationship between Carroll and Wilson reportedly soured in the later years of their time in Seattle, and the quarterback was traded to the Broncos prior to the 2022 season for a haul of picks.

After signing a bumper $245million contract following the trade, Wilson's first year in Denver was one of the worst of his career, throwing a career-low 16 touchdowns as the team limped to a 5-12 record and finished bottom of the AFC West.

Nathaniel Hackett did not make it through a full first season as head coach, but the Broncos made a trade with the New Orleans Saints to bring the sought-after Payton in to replace him.

Payton won a Super Bowl during a successful spell with New Orleans before stepping away at the end of the 2021 season, and Carroll feels he could be the correct coach to get Wilson back to his best.

"I don't think you can come up with a guy better at coaching quarterbacks than Sean," Carroll told reporters. "He's proven that.

"He's had such tremendous success. He's got a great playcaller mentality to him. They're very fortunate to have him."

Reports last week stated Wilson asked for Carroll and Seattle general manager John Schneider to be fired towards the end of his time with the Seahawks.

"My response to that is a similar response to what it's always been with guys I've coached,'' Carroll said.

"I'm always going to hang with them, I'm never going to leave them and I'm going to be there at the end. All of the good stuff, all of the bad stuff, I'm still going to be there.

"[It] doesn't matter who the guy is. Regardless of what had happened, what has taken place, things that have been said. [If] you hang with them, it all comes back around. I'd like to demonstrate that faith in the relationship and the depth of what we did together, and the growth challenges it brings to us along the way."

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson wishes he could have played better for head coach Nathaniel Hackett, who was fired earlier this week.

The Broncos parted ways with first-year coach Hackett on Monday following their 51-14 Christmas Day defeat to the Los Angeles Rams, which left them with a 4-11 record.

Denver's record is the joint-third worst in the NFL, with the Broncos set for their seventh consecutive losing season.

The Broncos had high expectations heading into the campaign, with ex-Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Hackett hired in January for his first head coach position, while Wilson was added to their ranks in March in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks.

But neither have enhanced the Broncos' struggling offense, with Denver's points-per-game average of 15.5 the lowest in the NFL.

Wilson is on track for a career-low in touchdown passes (12) and a career-high in sacks (49). The QB leads the NFL in sacks this season.

"The reality is I wish I could have played better for him too," Wilson told reporters after Wednesday's practice. "I wish I could have played at the standard, the level that I've always played at, know how to play at.

"I know I can play exceptionally well. I know what I have in me. Each moment you get out there, you want to play at your best and I haven't been able to do that this year. We have two games to go, I want to go compete at the highest level and try to get us two wins."

Interim Broncos coach Jerry Rosburg confirmed Wilson would start their final two games of the season, firstly against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Broncos general manager George Paton has stated that Wilson's recruitment was with a long-term view.

Wilson added: "You have dark days sometimes. It's been a tough year in a lot of ways. [I'm] used to scoring a lot of touchdowns, winning a lot of games and that hasn't happened, [it's the] first time it's been like this.

"My expectations are higher than everybody else's. The mission is still the same – bring Super Bowls to Denver."

The Denver Broncos believe Russell Wilson is fixable as they head into an offseason looking to pick up the pieces from a debacle of a 2022 season.

Denver fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Monday after under a year at the helm of a team many expected to contend this campaign.

The Broncos' 51-14 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day sealed Hackett's fate, the loss dropping Denver to 4-11 on the season.

Wilson was acquired in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks in the offseason, the Broncos parting with two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant to land his services.

But the nine-time Pro Bowler has endured the worst season of his career, completing 60.1 per cent of his passes for 3,019 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Wilson's well-thrown rate of 78.8 per cent is below the NFL average of 81.1 per cent and, heading into last weekend's games, he ranked 25th (for QBs with a minimum of 100 plays in expected passing situations) in yards over expected on downs where the defense would be anticipating a pass, according to Stats Perform data.

His level of performance after being handed a five-year, $245million extension by Denver arguably makes the Broncos job an unappealing one for potential Hackett successors, with the dead cap hits that would come with parting with Wilson meaning they are likely committed to keeping him until at least end of the 2024 season.

But general manager George Paton remains confident Wilson can be salvaged and return to the form that made him such a prized asset.

"We saw flashes of Russ this year. Russ even said he didn't play up to his standard," Paton said at a press conference. 

"He will be the first one to tell you he didn't play up to his standard, didn't play up to our standard. He needs to be better.

"I don't think we made a coaching move based on Russ. That wasn't what it's all about.

"That's not why we're getting a new coach, to turn around Russ; it's about the entire organisation. It's about the entire football team.

"It's just not one player. It's not whether Russ is fixable or not. We do believe he is. We do."

Broncos owner and CEO George Penner, who revealed the new head coach would report into him rather than Paton, echoed the general manager's apparent lack of panic surrounding Wilson.

"The decision to have Russell here was a long-term one," Penner said. "This season has not been up to his standards or expectations. We saw some glimpses of it in the last few weeks.

"He knows he can play better, we know he can play better, and we know he will do the right work in the offseason to be ready for next year.

"George and I have had a chance to get to know each other – we talk every day since we purchased the team a number of months ago – and he acknowledged right up front there were a couple of decisions that hadn't worked out as he had expected.

"But I understand his thought process. He understands the work that needs to be done in this offseason, and I'm going to rely on him heavily as we go through and make these changes."

Russell Wilson conceded his inaugural season with the Denver Broncos has not been what he hoped for, though he made it clear that the necessary team improvements start with himself.

The quarterback threw three interceptions as the Los Angeles Rams ran out 51-14 victors on Christmas Day, leaving the Broncos 4-11 this year – the joint-third worst record across the NFL.

Wilson has struggled to perform following his mega trade from the Seattle Seahawks, with a pass completion of 60.1 per cent standing as the lowest-ever mark of his career.

Meanwhile, he has thrown a touchdown in just 2.9 per cent of his throws – again the worst record of his career.

Though the 34-year-old is not the only player to have disappointed this season, Wilson has vowed to "keep fighting" and remains confident of better displays in future campaigns.

"A lot needs to happen. I have to play to the standards that I know how to play to," he said, via Mike Klis of KUSA. "And I've been playing to my whole career. I'll never let a moment like tonight define me.

"We're at a low moment right now. I don't fear low moments because I know every time, I've always come out the other side. All I know how to do is keep fighting, keep battling.

"The reality is, it's been a storm. It's been a storm all year. It's not what we hoped for, not what we dreamed for. But it doesn't mean it's going to end that way for years to come. We got to change it, and it starts with me."

The Broncos travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, before concluding their season at home to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Los Angeles Rams enjoyed their most dominant win of the season on Sunday as they pummelled the Denver Broncos 51-14.

It was a miserable game from beginning to end for the Broncos, conceding a field goal on the opening drive before quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception from their third play, gifting the Rams the field position to score again and take a 10-0 lead.

Things went from bad to worse when the Broncos' second drive also ended in a Wilson interception, with Rams running back Cam Akers delivering a second touchdown in the first quarter to jump ahead by three scores.

The Rams went on to score touchdowns on both of their next two drives, with Akers and Tyler Higbee both collecting two by half-time to blow out the margin.

Akers put the exclamation point on the drubbing with his third touchdown run of the game to open the fourth quarter, before Wilson finally found a consolation score, firing a touchdown pass to Greg Dulcich.

Mayfield, in his third start since being picked up off the waiver wire, completed a superb 24 of his 28 passes for 230 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers. Higbee was his top receiver, catching nine passes for 94 yards and both of Mayfield's touchdowns.

Wilson was 15-of-27 for 214 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions, although Jerry Jeudy was excellent, bringing in six catches for 117 yards. For Wilson, it was his first game with three interceptions since October 2020.


The Denver Broncos will be without Russell Wilson against the Arizona Cardinals.

Denver confirmed on Friday that Wilson was out for Sunday's game as the quarterback continues his recovery from a concussion.

Wilson passed NFL concussion protocol and wanted to feature against the Cardinals, but the decision was taken out of his hands.

The 34-year-old is in line to return against the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day.

Coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters: "Russell Wilson has passed concussion protocols.

"With that being said, as an organisation we've decided to give him another week to get ready, so he's ready to go for the Rams.

"Russ is one of our ultimate competitors in this game, he's unbelievable.

"We informed him of the decision. He's not happy with it, he wants to be out there and play, he's very competitive as we all know – he wants to be there for this team and be out there.

"We as an organisation, after talking throughout this entire week, have decided it's what's best for our organisation, best for Russell.

"We've talked about this from the top all the way to the bottom. We looked at every single thing and decided to give him another week to get ready."

Wilson suffered the issue during the fourth quarter of the Broncos' loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last week - a defeat that eliminated Denver, who sit bottom of the AFC West with a 3-10 record, from playoff contention.

He has thrown 2,805 yards for 11 touchdowns this season, following his switch from the Seattle Seahawks.

Brett Rypien, who has played twice this year, will fill in on Sunday.

"We're very confident in Ryp, very excited about Ryp and this opportunity to go against Arizona Cardinals," Hackett added.

While he believes he could have played, Wilson understands the team's call.

"For me, I always want to be out on the field, no matter what the circumstances are," he told reporters.

"At the same time it was a collective decision by the organisation to get some extra rest. Ryp is ready to rock and roll, and our team – it was a great week of practice, it was good to be out there and practice.

"These guys are special, I want to be out there and compete with them. I'm going to do everything I can on the sideline to make sure we get the win.

"Concussion is a serious thing. Everybody did a great job all week, making sure I was good to go. I feel great."

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson is in concussion protocol after he was forced to exit Sunday's 34-28 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter.

In one of his best statistical games of the season, Wilson threw three touchdowns for the first time since pulling on a Broncos jersey, clawing back from a 27-0 deficit to head into the fourth quarter trailing 34-21.

The Broncos scored another touchdown to begin the fourth period, but while scrambling down to the two-yard line, Wilson was tackled and violently slammed his head into the turf.

He was visibly wobbled when trying to return to his feet, and was promptly taken out of the game and placed in the concussion protocol.

Backup quarterback Brett Rypien finished that drive off with a touchdown, but ended the game with an interception when he had the chance to produce a go-ahead drive with under five minutes remaining.

The loss means the Broncos fell to 3-10 for the season, and the concussion protocol may keep Wilson out next week as well when the Arizona Cardinals roll into town.

Brock Purdy's first start in the NFL was nearly faultless, guiding his San Francisco 49ers to an impressive 35-7 pounding of Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Much was made of the matchup between Purdy – the very last pick in this year's NFL Draft – and legendary Bucs quarterback Brady, with 22-year-old Purdy being born while Brady was still playing college football for the University of Michigan.

But it was totally one-sided in favour of the rookie, as he utilised all the offensive weapons at his disposal to build a 28-0 lead at half-time.

Reigning First Team All-Pro receiver Deebo Samuel ran for a 13-yard touchdown. Purdy himself ran one in from two yards, and then the QB threw touchdowns to both Christian McCaffrey and Brandon Aiyuk to cap a half he will never forget. 

Samuel's day did end on a sour note, however, with the star being carted off due to a serious-looking knee injury.

McCaffrey added his second touchdown of the game in the third quarter to finish the 49ers' scoring, posting 14 carries for 119 yards with another two catches for 34 through the air.

Purdy completed 16 of his 21 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns, finishing with no turnovers and no sacks taken.

With the win, the 49ers are now 9-4, and while their Super Bowl dreams were hurt with the injury of Jimmy Garoppolo last week, Purdy's competence will begin to revive those hopes as they continue to lean on the best defense in the league based on opponent points per game.

Chiefs hold on for their 10th win

The Kansas City Chiefs were made to sweat in the final stages of their 34-28 win over the Denver Broncos after some uncharacteristic Patrick Mahomes turnovers.

Kansas City led 27-0 in the second quarter after a pair of Mahomes touchdown passes to Jerick McKinnon were followed by a 47-yard Willie Gay interception return for a touchdown.

An interception from Mahomes gave the Broncos a chance to score their first touchdown late in the second period, and he threw another interception from his very next drive, gifting the Broncos another score.

Jerry Jeudy's third touchdown reception of the game brought the Broncos back to within six points, and a third Mahomes interception gave the Broncos a chance, but they could not complete the unlikely comeback.

This has not been the season anyone envisioned for Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos and that has led to reports that the veteran quarterback has lost some members of the locker room.

Not true according to head coach Nathaniel Hackett and several teammates.

The Broncos were expected to be a Super Bowl contender after the offseason acquisition of Wilson, but they are last in the AFC West at 3-8 and have been hit hard by injuries.

"To me, it's all gossip. I know this locker room - we have a fantastic locker room," Hackett said.

"When you look at a guy like Russ, he's unbelievable. I've never seen somebody work that hard. I've never seen somebody try to embrace a team like he has."

Wilson has just eight touchdown passes and five interceptions in 10 starts while completing 58.9 per cent of his passes, by far the worst mark of his career. He has also been sacked a career-high 56 times behind a patchwork offensive line.

Safety Justin Simmons reacted to a report on an NFL Network podcast that Wilson had lost part of the locker room.

"I'll say this: I'll say Russ is an amazing leader," Simmons said. "He's an amazing teammate and ... I know it's a quarterback-driven league, but leadership never falls under one guy."

Simmons said there is plenty of blame to go around for the Broncos' season, but he was stumped by the latest barb directed at Wilson.

"I don't know where that report would have come from and quite honestly... I would just like to keep the questions geared toward Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens," Simmons said.

Guard Dalton Risner also dismissed the report, when he said: "That's just hilarious in my opinion. That's funny. Because I don't think it's true. I know it's not true. I know that I know who Russell is. I respect him so much. I respect the way he integrates within our locker room.

"And I feel all year he hasn't been able to catch a break. I feel like all year people are just making up rumours about him, whether that be he's not a good teammate or he's lost the locker room, apparently, or whatever the heck it is. A lot of it is just so outlandish to me because I get to see him work every day."

Wilson was asked if he sensed any teammates had an issue with him.

"No. I think that first of all, everybody wants to win," he said. "I've got great relationships in that locker room. So, whoever is trying to tear it down, you can't.

"The best thing about it is it's been an amazing journey coming here, moving here, being here. … It's a blessing to be on this team and I’m honoured to be a part of this."

The Broncos' dismal season took another turn early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the Carolina Panthers when Wilson and defensive tackle Mike Purcell had a brief sideline blowup.

Purcell referred to the exchange as "just frustration" after the game, while Wilson said, "Mike and I are on the same page."

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith is the real deal according to head coach Pete Carroll after he kept them into first place in the NFC West with their third straight win on Sunday.

Smith threw two touchdowns, completing 23 of 34 passes for 212 yards with no turnovers, in the Seahawks' 27-13 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday. He should have had a third TD pass if not for a Tyler Lockett drop on a would-be score.

The 32-year-old Seahawks quarterback has been a revelation this season, having spent the past seven years primarily as a back-up, before taking over from Russell Wilson after his trade to the Denver Broncos.

Smith has already this year matched his career-best 13 touchdown passes in a single season from 2014, with nine games remaining.

"He's the real deal, we're seeing it," Carroll told reporters. "There's no mystery or, 'Oh, he's going to run out of gas or something.' It's not like that.

"He knows exactly what he's doing and he shows you week in, week out, throw after throw after throw. There's nothing for us to hold him but in the highest of expectations, really.

"What a thrilling story for the kid. He just hung in there so tough and outlasted it and now he's enjoying all the fun of it. He did great."

Smith has completed 181 of 249 attempts with a 72.7 completion rate for 1,924 yards with three interceptions this season.

The Seattle QB has also rushed for 158 yards with one touchdown, but would not get caught up in the universal praise coming for him as the surprise of he season.

"Man, we just got a win today," Smith said. "We only got a chance to play one game today, and we won it.

"We've got to continue to play hard throughout the season. Every single game is going to be a test. We know that.

"We always talk about each game being a championship opportunity and so we're just going to continue to focus on it day by day, not get caught up in the outside noise - and just do what we do."

The Seahawks are top of the NFC West with a 5-3 record, ahead of the San Francisco 49ers (4-4) and the Los Angeles Rams (3-4) and the Arizona Cardinals (3-5).

The Denver Broncos survived a frustrating first half at Wembley Stadium to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 21-17 as Russell Wilson returned from a hamstring injury.

Wilson, who sat out last week, looked extremely rusty early on, almost throwing an interception from his first pass and then giving up a pick that presented Trevor Lawrence with a short field for the first touchdown of Sunday's game.

Having capitalised on that mishap, however, the Jaguars failed to make the most of a sloppy Broncos display thereafter.

Although Denver had an alarming 10 penalties for 71 yards at halftime, they trailed only 10-7, with a Lawrence pass picked on the goal line by Justin Simmons before Wilson led the Broncos up the field late in the second quarter for Jerry Jeudy to score.

Pressure had again been building on Wilson and coach Nathaniel Hackett up to that point, but a 98-yard drive early in the second half allowed Melvin Gordon to run in and secure the Broncos a first lead.

Lawrence, rather than Wilson, had struggled badly since his earlier interception, but Travis Etienne Jr. gave the Jaguars hope of a first win since Week 3, adding a touchdown to his 156 rushing yards.

Instead, Wilson came to the fore again with a 47-yard pass to K.J. Hamler that set up the game-winning drive, finished off by Latavius Murray before Lawrence threw a second pick to K'Waun Williams, ensuring there was no route back into the game for Jacksonville.

Russell Wilson appears likely to return from his injury layoff when the Denver Broncos face the Jacksonville Jaguars in London on Sunday.

The quarterback suffered a hamstring injury in the Broncos' 19-16 overtime defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 6, causing him to sit out Sunday's 16-9 loss to the New York Jets.

The Broncos will look to improve on their poor 2-5 start to the season at Wembley Stadium, and should be boosted by the presence of their first-choice QB.

On Wednesday, head coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters Wilson had done "quite a bit" in practice, and the former Seattle Seahawks man later added: "I feel great, I'm ready to rock".

Wilson's trade to Denver has not worked out as intended thus far, with the nine-time Pro Bowl QB completing just 58.6 per cent of his passes since landing a five-year, $245million contract in March.

However, he remains confident in his and the Broncos' ability to turn around their fortunes. 

"As hard as it has been, and it hasn't been exactly what we wanted it to be, storms don't always last," Wilson added. 

"This one's not going to last, because we're going to work our tails off and work through it. We're going to try to be the best we can possibly be."

Russell Wilson has been ruled out of the Denver Broncos' plans for Sunday's Week 7 clash with the New York Jets.

The quarterback suffered a hamstring injury in the 19-16 overtime defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday.

He played through the pain barrier in the late stages of that game but will not be risked this weekend, the Broncos confirmed.

It means Brett Rypien will play against the 4-2 Jets, making just his second start in the NFL. Coincidentally, his first also came against the Jets, with Rypien throwing two touchdown passes for the Broncos in a 37-28 win in October 2020.

On Friday, the Broncos listed Wilson as questionable for the clash with the Jets, while head coach Nathaniel Hackett said the team would make a "game-time decision" on his involvement.

That situation has now progressed, with Wilson unavailable as the Broncos look to improve on their 2-4 start to the season.

Nine-time Pro Bowl QB Wilson has completed just 58.6 per cent of his passes since arriving in a March trade with the Seattle Seahawks, landing a five-year, $245million contract.

Against the Chargers, Wilson finished the first quarter with a perfect 10 completions, including a touchdown, but he completed just five of his subsequent 18 passes.

The Denver Broncos have listed quarterback Russell Wilson as questionable for their Week 7 meeting with the New York Jets.

Wilson injured his hamstring during the Broncos' 19-16 overtime defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday, a game in which the 33-year-old started brightly before Denver collapsed.

Wilson finished the first quarter with a perfect 10 completions, including a touchdown, but completed just five of his subsequent 18 passes as the Chargers fought back.

Things then went from bad to worse for the Broncos as Wilson confirmed he had played through the pain barrier after straining his hamstring in the latter stages of the game.

On Friday, the Broncos listed Wilson as questionable for the clash with the Jets, while head coach Nathaniel Hackett said the team will make a "game-time decision" on his involvement.

Wilson was already managing a shoulder injury sustained in the Week 5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and has been seen wearing a wrap under his pads in recent outings.

The Broncos enter their meeting with the Jets with a 2-4 record for the season, with nine-time Pro Bowl QB Wilson completing just 58.6 per cent of his passes since arriving in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks.

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