BRONCOS

Five players the Denver Broncos should trade before the deadline

Oct 6, 2023, 4:33 PM | Updated: 4:37 pm

The Denver Broncos are in the awful spot of being bad, having a lot of salary tied up going into the future and they lack draft capital. Selling at the end of this month when the NFL’s trade deadline takes place would make a lot of sense for the Orange Crush.

Denver’s season is more or less already over, with only a handful of teams in league history making the playoffs after starting 0-3. Now at 1-3 with two matchups against Kansas City this month, things could go even further downhill quickly for the Broncos. If the team does sell, they could get a head start on a badly needed roster reset. The Broncos haven’t made the postseason since their Super Bowl 50 win and the revolving door of coaches, quarterbacks and running backs couldn’t supply a decent defense with another playoff run. Now even the Orange Crush’s defense is bad and the team lacks an identity or any discernible great qualities.

There are a lot of reasons to move on from a player, whether they are at peak value, about to become free agents, are too old to impact the team’s next window, or maybe dumping salary. The Broncos have candidates that fit all these categories.

Five players the Broncos should trade

CB: Patrick Surtain II, 23

The lone Broncos player to crack The Ringers’ top trade value ranking that came out before the season, PS2, is listed as the 14th-highest trade value player in the NFL. He’s in the category of “how many firsts do you have?” One would think the young shutdown corner would nab Denver at least two first-round picks, given his ability, age and contract status he’s easily the asset the Broncos could move for the most back. If you believe that the Broncos need a rebuild, trading Surtain would kickstart that into overdrive. Only in his third season and given corners age decently well, he’ll almost undoubtedly still be a great player the next time the Broncos are good, but who knows when that will be and Surtain will likely be on a huge contract by then. While it’d be a shame to see PS2’s prime happen elsewhere, it may just need to happen given how desperate Denver is to end the sport’s second-longest playoff drought. One more thought, would you flip PS2 for as many picks as possible, or would you see if you could move off of Russell Wilson’s mega contract in the process of sending Surtain away?

S: Justin Simmons, 29

Part of Wilson’s big money is having to cut costs elsewhere, especially when you could replace said cost with a cost-controlled player through the draft. Simmons is and has been one of the best Broncos players for quite a while. Nobody will doubt his dedication or impact but maybe it’s time Denver does Simmons a favor back and trade him to a playoff-bound team while he’s still in his prime. In doing so the Broncos would likely get a good chunk of value back, Simmons is under contract through the 2024 season which means a team picking him up would get at least two runs at it with a former Pro Bowl safety.

WR: Jerry Jeudy, 24

Jeudy could be a free agent after the 2024 season or a franchise tag or extension candidate. There are still many ways the young wideout’s career could go but the fact this is year four and we’re still unsure what the No. 15 pick from the 2020 NFL Draft exactly is, is not a good sign. Fact of the matter is Denver could get some good value back for the pass-catcher and solve the future issue of not knowing exactly what to do with him. In 44 NFL games, Jeudy has 168 catches for 2,453 yards and nine touchdowns. Over his last 28 games, Jeudy only has six touchdowns and three of those came in the second half against Kansas City last year when the game was already in hand for the Chiefs. Denver has one of the highest-paid groups of wide receivers in the NFL and there isn’t a true dynamic target who has emerged—blowing it up and starting over in this room might be the best course of action whether it’s Wilson or somebody else throwing the ball.

WR: Courtland Sutton, 27

Speaking of, Sutton is a high-cost target who has struggled since his 2020 ACL tear. Still, the former Pro Bowler is a lock for 50-plus catches a season and a few touchdowns. Sutton is on pace for his best season by many metrics and is under contract through the 2025 season. For where Denver is going, they don’t need Sutton for the time being and the picks they get back could be worth that value cheaper by the time the Broncos are in a window of contention. As hard as it may be for some to see Sutton go, there are plenty of teams looking for a top-two target and the Broncos have two options to trade in that spot between Jeudy and Sutton.

LB: Josey Jewell, 28

A pretty good linebacker with two 100-plus tackle seasons, Jewell is on an expiring contract and Denver might as well get something for him instead of letting him walk. The Broncos defense has taken a big step back this year but Jewell’s track record has him coming off a career year, with two picks, two forced fumbles, four quarterback hits and seven tackles for a loss. He’s spent his entire career in Denver and it might be time for him to play on a playoff-bound team.

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