After defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 24-9 on Sunday afternoon, the Denver Broncos are 3-5 going into their Week 9 bye. Will that be enough to convince Denver to not be sellers ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday?
If Broncos coach Sean Payton is to be believed, Denver wasn’t planning to make trades even before Sunday’s upset win.
“Honestly, and you guys know this, it’s a busy time of the year and there’s pressure on news media to be on top of potential stories, trade stories,” Payton said Sunday. “The teams that aren’t doing as well always fall into this position, and I understand it, but we’re not the team looking to go out and buy. We can’t control the buyers that call. We always pick the phone up — you have to professionally, but that’s it.”
Whether or not Payton is being truthful remains to be seen.
There have been multiple reports about wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, for example, and often when there’s smoke in the NFL, there’s fire.
So, will the Broncos make any moves before the NFL trade deadline? Here’s a quick look at ten players who might draw interest from other teams.
10. QB Russell Wilson
Realistically, no team is likely to trade for quarterback Russell Wilson’s massive contract, but with a few QB injuries across the league, a team like the Minnesota Vikings might consider making a move. If the Broncos were able to offload Wilson’s contract, it would be worth doing.
Verdict: STAY (offers unlikely)
9. RB Javonte Williams
Javonte Williams is finally starting to look like his pre-injury self and the Broncos probably wouldn’t fetch enough to make a trade worth their while. Williams still has another year on his team-friendly rookie contract and he’s one of their best weapons on offense.
8. WR Jerry Jeudy
Among the team’s (realistic) trade candidates, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy probably has the most trade value. He has never quite lived up to his first-round hype, but Jeudy is a talented receiver with two more seasons on his rookie contract (including a fifth-year option in 2025). If a team is willing to give the Broncos an early pick for Jeudy, Denver should accept the offer and start giving rookie Marvin Mims more snaps on offense.
7. WR Courtland Sutton
Courtland Sutton has emerged as Wilson’s favorite target and with nine games remaining, he has already tied his single-season career high with six touchdown catches in 2023. If the Broncos are going to trade a receiver, Jeudy seems more likely to be dealt than Sutton.
6. LT Garett Bolles
After struggling early in his career, Garett Bolles is now one of the team’s best offensive lineman. Even if the Broncos were able to land a early pick (which isn’t a given) for Bolles, Denver would then need to find a replacement in 2024. Broncos coach Sean Payton patched up the offensive line this offseason and Denver shouldn’t pull it apart now.
5. DL Mike Purcell
With D.J. Jones healthy again and following the recent arrival of nose tackle Keondre Coburn, the Broncos might view Mike Purcell as an expendable piece on the defensive line. If another team is looking for a run-stuffing nose tackle, Denver might be able to get a late-round draft pick for Purcell.
Verdict: OFFER DEPENDENT
4. OLB Baron Browning
Baron Browning recently returned from the reserve/physically unable to perform list and it took him about a week to get his feet under him. Browning seemed to be back to 100% against the Chiefs on Sunday, totaling three quarterback hits, two sacks and a forced fumble. Browning is Denver’s best edge rusher and he’s still on his rookie contract, so a trade is unlikely.
3. ILB Josey Jewell
Broncos rookie Drew Sanders has struggled to earn much playing time on defense so far, but Denver might be tempted to accept if a team offers a mid-round draft pick for Josey Jewell. If the Broncos do trade Jewell, Alex Singleton and Sanders could be a feasible starting duo in the team’s base defense.
Verdict: OFFER DEPENDENT
2. CB Pat Surtain
Pat Surtain is without question the team’s most valuable trade candidate, but he’s not a realistic trade candidate. Denver is not interested in listening to offers for “PS2,” and that’s the right decision. Surtain is the team’s best player and he still has two years left on his rookie contract.
1. DB Justin Simmons
Justin Simmons will turn 30 years old next month and he’ll have a salary cap hit of $18.15 million in 2024. In 2020, the New York Jets traded safety Jamal Adams and a fourth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a safety. Denver would be foolish to turn down that kind of offer for Simmons, but Adams was also 25 at the time of that trade. A more likely comparison would be the Tennessee Titans trading a 30-year-old Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a safety and fifth- and sixth-round draft picks last week. If that’s the going rate for a 30-year-old star safety, keeping Simmons would make more sense for the Broncos than a trade.
Verdict: OFFER DEPENDENT
The NFL trade deadline is 2:00 p.m. MT on Tuesday, Oct. 31.