Despite ending their two-game losing streak in Week 7, the Denver Broncos should be planning for their future.
With the October 31 trade deadline approaching, Denver will most likely be among the teams parting ways with top talent. Since the Broncos own a 2-5 record under head coach Sean Payton, finding a trade partner should not be difficult.
“Sutton’s five contested catches through Week 6 are tied for the ninth most among wide receivers on the season, and he can provide a big-bodied target that routinely boxes out defenders and wins on jump balls, an element from which Bryce Young could benefit,” wrote Spielberger in his October 23 article.
Carolina is the only winless team in the NFL at 0-6. Young has struggled with consistency since the Panthers selected him with the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Russell Wilson Praises Sutton Following Week 7 Win: ‘He’s Been Clutch’
Sutton led the Broncos in receiving in the Week 7 comeback win over the Green Bay Packers. The veteran receiver caught all six targets for 76 yards. His highlight was an 18-yard touchdown reception that put Denver up 16-3 with 6:17 left in the third quarter.
Following the win, Wilson went out of his way to praise the “professional” Sutton as a “consummate pro.”
“Courtland, he’s been clutch,” Wilson told reporters on October 22. “He made a huge down-the-field catch early in the game. He did a good job of winning a couple times early, and then late too as well as the game went on.”
Sutton came up clutch as three of his six receptions went for a first down. Wilson continued gushing over his teammate, emphasizing his effort in the win is “why he’s one of our captains.”
“He’s one of my favorite teammates that I’ve played with because he goes up and down the sideline, bringing energy, talking to guys, letting them know what we’re going to do. He’s like that every day. He’s a great leader [and] a great competitor, he made some clutch plays and that was exciting,” said Wilson.
Through seven games, Sutton leads the Broncos in targets (43), receptions (31), receiving yards (351) and receiving touchdowns (5).
Sutton Attempting to Recapture Magic of Only Pro Bowl Campaign
In 2019, Sutton was selected to the Pro Bowl after recording 72 receptions for 1,112 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns.
That has been the only Pro Bowl campaign for Sutton to date. It has been tough sledding for the veteran wide receiver since his career season.
Sutton tore his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 season, finishing the year with just three catches for 66 yards in one appearance.
During the next two seasons from 2021-22, Sutton combined for 1,605 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 122 receptions. For reference, Sutton had 114 catches for 1,816 yards and 10 touchdown receptions in his first two NFL seasons.
A revolving door at quarterback did not help Sutton or the Denver offense in that span. Can Sutton recapture his Pro Bowl form with Payton at the helm? Time will tell, but the receiver is on his way to setting a career-high in touchdown receptions.
Per ESPN, Sutton is projected to finish the 2023 season with 75 receptions for 852 yards and 12 touchdowns.