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Ex-Steelers LB Wouldn’t Overpay for Courtland Sutton

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Steelers Playoff courtland Sutton

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton did not report for the first day of his team’s optional offseason workouts on Tuesday, as Sutton is looking for a new contract. That sparked speculation that he could be on the trade block, but the Broncos are not interested in trading their top receiver, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Fowler noted that teams have called about Sutton, however.

The Steelers have been in the market for a wide receiver since trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers in March. They’ve struck out on free agents Mike Williams and Tyler Boyd, missing on Williams, who signed with the Jets, and reaching a negotiating impasse with Boyd. The Steelers have also kicked the tires on San Francisco star Brandon Aiyuk, who the 49ers insist they are not trading.

Former Steelers outside linebacker Arthur Moats wonders if Sutton could be a potential option for the Steelers, similar to Aiyuk.

“There is smoke, there is fire, because (offseason workouts) is starting and this is the first thing we actually see him saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to be here until this gets done.’ So that’s the part where I am like OK. But what’s the number for a dude like Courtland Sutton?” Moats said on his podcast.

Sutton signed a four-year, $60 million deal with the Broncos in 2021, averaging $15 million per year. Moats doesn’t think it would make sense to give Sutton a per year average similar to what they were paying Diontae Johnson.

“From the Steelers perspective, could you make any one year situation make sense where you would bump that number up. If he’s at ($15 million) right now could you talk yourself into maybe 17. Like to me, I have a hard problem saying I would be pay Cortland Sutton 18, when I was paying Diontae Johnson 18 and we didn’t want to keep that. Because, to me, I still think DJ is just a better player,” Moats said.

The Broncos’ second-round pick out of SMU in the 2018 NFL Draft, Sutton has spent all six of his NFL seasons in Denver. Nearing the end of his rookie contract, Sutton signed a new four-year, $60.8 million contract with the Broncos in 2021.

Sutton has two years remaining on that deal. He is set to make $13.6 million this season and $14 million next season before becoming a free agent in 2026. Only $2 million of that salary this season is guaranteed, and none in 2025.

Sutton has been consistently productive over the course of his career, despite near-constant changeover at the quarterback position. Outside of his 2020 season, in which he played only one game before suffering a season-ending ACL injury, Sutton has caught at least 40 passes for at least 700 yards every other year.