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Broncos GM: Courtland Sutton ‘In a Good Place’ after Not Showing up to Workouts

If the Pittsburgh Steelers wanted to trade for Courtland Sutton, then it seems like it may wait, as the Broncos do not sound concerned.

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Pittsburgh Steelers 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, according to a report by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. And that could be a signal for the Steelers. But general manager George Paton did not sound overly concerned about it on Thursday.

“Sean’s talked to Courtland. I’ve talked to Courtland. He’s in a good place,” Paton said.

But that might be simplifying the saga too much. According to Benjamin Allbright, a Broncos insider, the Broncos have already tried to move Sutton before; last year, before the season, they were reportedly not high on Sutton and nearly traded him to the Ravens. That means a clear opening for a team to fill and try to acquire Sutton’s services.

The club’s 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. 

He best season came in 2019, when he earned a Pro Bowl nod after catching 72 of 124 targets for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns with the combination of Joe Flacco, Drew Lock and Brandon Allen as his starting quarterbacks.

The revolving door at quarterback continued with Teddy Bridgewater, Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien, Jarrett Stidham and Russell Wilson and even wide receiver Kendall Hinton starting games at quarterback for Denver over the last four seasons.

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.

Sutton would make sense thanks to his consistent production and built-in connection with Wilson, who figures to start for the Steelers, at least to start the 2024 season. 

RELATED: Broncos WR Courtland Sutton Could Make Sense for Steelers

If there is one that could be a bigger splash but feels more likely, this one does. The Broncos are not in this thing to win it this year; in fact, they might be looking to try to bounce to the top of the draft board for the 2025 season. But Courtland Sutton has the Russell Wilson connection and profiles as the contested catch, big-bodied guy that the team was looking to add when Mike Williams was targeted.

Take it from the long view, and Sutton’s cap savings after June 1 would rack up to over $10 million. Even before then, the Broncos can stomach a trade, and Sutton has been rumored to perpetually be on the trade block for nearly a year at this point. It’s obviously not the same level of splash as Aiyuk or some other massive names that were thrown around, but Sutton has the connections and probably would not cost a ton to land in a trade, either. So, this makes sense on multiple levels for the Steelers.