BRONCOS

The sound of silence: Broncos make no trades at deadline

Oct 31, 2023, 2:02 PM

A month filled with sound and fury regarding the Denver Broncos at the trade deadline ended with peace and quiet.

The 2 p.m. MDT deadline came and went without word of any Broncos trade, capping a month in which the Broncos appeared poised for a teardown, then opted to stand pat after back-to-back wins to reach 3-5 at the bye week.

After what coach Sean Payton said Monday, that comes as no surprise. During his media conference call Monday, Payton squashed the notion that the Broncos were active sellers.

“We’re not openly or even remotely shopping anyone,” Payton said. “So, have people called? Sure, they have. And typically, the buyer wants the media to know they’ve called. Not the seller.

“And so, we’re preparing — I’ve got a Buffalo cutup that I’m gonna look at. I’m going to look at the league’s touchdowns from yesterday. And I’m sure at some point, I’ll meet with George (Paton).”

Payton didn’t even discount the notion of the Broncos being buyers, either, saying, “There’s nothing to say that we might not be in that business.”

But the truth is that the reality of their draft capital prevented the Broncos from dealing. They have their first-round pick next year, but their second-round choice belongs to New Orleans thanks to the trade for Payton’s rights. Denver had an extra third-round pick, but traded it to Seattle to move up and select cornerback Riley Moss, leaving the Broncos with just a single third-round choice next year.

So, with just two picks in the top 100, the Broncos didn’t have much capital to spare.

RUMORS SWIRLED THROUGHOUT THE MONTH

And no player appeared to be the subject of more rumblings than wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.

Jeudy found himself at the center of a firestorm after Steve Smith’s cutting comments on NFL Network and a testy pregame exchange prior to the Broncos’ Week 6 loss at Kansas City. Jeudy exacerbated matters with some comments a week later.

But no conversations or rumblings blossomed into an actual deal. So, Jeudy remains — and he could be on track to be around next year, as the Broncos already picked up the fifth-year option on the 2020 first-round choice.

FOR THE BRONCOS, A DIFFERENT DEADLINE DAY

One of the common threads of most Broncos seasons in recent years was selling a core player with a substantial contract at the deadline.

In 2018, the Broncos dealt the late Demaryius Thomas — along with a seventh-round pick — to the Houston Texans for fourth- and seventh-round choices. A year later, Denver shipped Emmanuel Sanders and a fifth-round choice to San Francisco for third- and fourth-round picks.

Nothing happened during the 2020 season, which saw a quiet trade deadline around the NFL. The COVID-19 restrictions put a damper on trades that year. But in 2021, the 4-4 Broncos dealt Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams. And in 2022, sitting at 3-5 — just like this year’s Broncos — Denver swapped Bradley Chubb for a package that included a first-round pick.

So, chalk today up as one big change for Denver under Payton. For the first time in a non-COVID-19-impacted year since 2017, the team didn’t sell at the deadline.

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