Sean Payton did his best to shut down the trade speculation involving a pair of Denver Broncos wideouts Sunday. But whether the newly hired Broncos head coach is being truthful or blowing smoke is yet to be determined.
Payton, while speaking to NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero on Sunday at the Annual League Meeting, provided an emphatic denial of the trade rumors involving Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. Jeudy, specially, has been included in reports for weeks with the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns among those tied to the 2020 first-rounder.
“I see and read just like everyone else does,” Payton told Pelissero. “Then occasionally, when someone really crowds the plate, I throw a fastball right at their chin, and they back up, and they’re like, ‘Alright.’ And so I haven’t thrown any fastballs lately, but we’re not trading those two players.
“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.’ And so, we’ve received calls, you bet,” Payton continued. “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.”
Payton’s comments certainly are not something to overlook. They’re notable. However, it’s fair to remain a bit skeptical given the fact it wouldn’t be a wise business decision for the head coach to confirm the reports. Not only would it hurt Denver’s leverage in the scenario, but it also would irk the players and ensure they wouldn’t play there again.
According to multiple reports, the Broncos are seeking high-end draft capital for Jeudy given they don’t have either a first- or second-round pick in April’s NFL draft. Some reports specifically note Denver is seeking a first-rounder while others have said the organization wants a first-rounder or second-rounder with an NFL player.
ESPN’s Jeff Legwold confirmed those reports Saturday and shared how a trade, should it happen, might not take place for another month with the NFL draft scheduled for April 27.