The Denver Broncos have a lot of questions heading into 2024 in Sean Payton’s second year as the team’s head coach, and now it appears Courtland Sutton’s future with the team could be one of the biggest offseason surprises.
Despite signing him to a massive contract ahead of last season, Payton benched QB Russell Wilson because the starting signal caller refused to waive his significant injury clause.
After a 1-5 start, the Broncos actually started to find a rhythm, winning six of their next seven games before hitting a late skid, then Wilson was benched, and the Denver Broncos lost three of their final games in 2023.
One of the brightest spots on the team was WR Courtland Sutton, who had his best season since joining the franchise.
Sutton was the Denver Broncos’ best offensive player this year, and it was not close. His toe-tap touchdown against Buffalo was fantastic.
Courtland Sutton scored an impressive touchdowns on seemingly a week-to-week basis was one of the few consistencies you could bank on with this offense. He singlehandedly made the Broncos highlight-worthy on ESPN.
Sutton’s 10 receiving touchdowns this season are tied for third-most in the NFL and second-most in the AFC. Only Tyreek Hill (12) and Mike Evans (13) have hauled in more touchdown catches this season. He had more touchdowns than Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, AJ Brown, and Jamar Chase. The second-highest touchdowns scored on the Broncos was by Brandon Johnson, who had only four. Sutton was literally their entire offense this year, and I hope he finds a way to land on the Pro Bowl roster in the next few weeks.
Denver Broncos Star WR Sends Apparent Goodbye To Fans, Franchise In Stunning Instagram Post
Sutton has a year left on his contract and is one of the biggest playmakers on Denver’s offense.
But on Friday, the star WR sent a stunning message on Instagram hinting he could be moving on from the Broncos this offseason.
“Broncos country I’m very grateful to be able to finish off another season here in Denver. Unfortunately we weren’t able to accomplish our main goal. I’m still grateful for all my teammates and support staff that have been riding with me all season. I know all things happen for a reason and I trust my Gods plan over everything including whatever is next for me. Just know I gave everything to this team and organization every time I stepped on that field.”
Courtland Sutton ended the post with “all love 14” with a peace sign emoji.
That certainly doesn’t sound like a player who plans on returning to the Denver Broncos in 2024.
Ahead of the 2023 season, there were reports the Broncos were listening to trade offers for both Sutton and Jerry Jeudy due to salary cap issues.
The Russell Wilson situation has complicated things with the team and Sutton is owed a significant chunk of cash next season.
FWIW: Russell Wilson's guarantee next season contains offset language.
If the #Broncos release him next March, the $39M owed to him on the way out would be reduced by however much he earns from a new team in 2024.
A minimum salary for Wilson next year comes in at $1.21M.
— Spotrac (@spotrac) December 27, 2023
Here’s what Mile High Sports wrote about a potential Courtland Sutton exit from the Denver Broncos this offseason:
Now, in terms of players with potential outs this year, superstar safety Justin Simmons, No. 1 wideout Courtland Sutton, and key receiver Tim Patrick all could be cut for relatively low numbers. The Broncos would save $14.5M by cutting Simmons, but that seems incredibly unlikely. He’s the leader of the defense and a huge piece of the community, too.
Denver could save $9.7M by cutting Sutton, but a trade seems more likely. And it’d be a $10M savings to cut Patrick, which is the most likely of the three to see that happen. Patrick is one of the most sure-handed receivers in the NFL, but he also missed all of 2023 with a torn Achilles he suffered in preseason.
Maybe Sutton already knows something others don’t, but with that post, he could have very well played his last NFL snap as a member of the Broncos.