Broncos Projected to Regret Getting ‘Proverbial Pennies’ for Ex-Playmaker

Sean Payton

Getty Will the Broncos regret getting a small return for one of its top playmakers?

The Denver Broncos abandoned the Jerry Jeudy experiment this offseason, trading him to the Cleveland Browns. One outlet expects the Broncos to regret that decision—at least the “proverbial pennies” it got in return.

Kristopher Knox from Bleacher Report looked at 10 offseason moves that NFL teams will regret most. Knox felt Denver made a mile-high blunder by not getting more from the Browns for Jeudy.

“If Jeudy proves to be a reliable No. 2 receiver in Cleveland, the Broncos are going to regret letting him go at such a paltry price,” Knox wrote in his May 26 article. “They don’t have a lot of proven receiver depth on their roster—Courtland Sutton and Josh Reynolds headline the group—and they’re now trying to develop first-round rookie quarterback Bo Nix.”

The Broncos traded Jeudy on March 9 and received Cleveland’s fifth and sixth-round picks in the 2024 NFL draft.

While the trade was not ultra-risky on the Broncos’ behalf, it could become problematic for a team with few proven playmakers.

Will Jerry Jeudy Have a Breakout Year With the Browns?

Jeudy failed to pan out in the Mile High City due to a lack of consistency.

The former Alabama star most notably never had a 1,000-yard receiving campaign. He came close with Russell Wilson under center in 2022 as the former 15th overall pick amassed 972 receiving yards. Will Jeudy finally experience a breakout year with the Browns in 2024?

Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski is a two-time NFL Coach of the Year winner and a highly regarded offensive mind. Stefanski could figure out ways to deploy the speedy Jeudy in ways that Sean Payton could not in Denver.

ESPN analyst Mike Clay projects Jeudy to finish with a statline of 61 receptions for 908 yards and 4 touchdowns in 15 games. If Jeudy reached those numbers, it would mark his most productive campaign since 2022.

The Browns signed Jeudy to a three-year extension worth up to $58 million shortly after the trade, per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. Jeudy’s new team rewarded him with the confidence his old squad lacked. Now the question is, will he deliver?

Rookie ‘Draft Sleeper’ Predicted to Soon Become Household Name

Jeudy did not become a household name with the Broncos, but a rookie “draft sleeper” could immediately pay dividends.

Denver took Oregon wide receiver Troy Franklin in the 4th round with the 102 overall pick. Chris Pflum from SB Nation named Franklin an under-the-radar draftee who could soon become a household name.

Pflum highlighted Franklin’s chemistry with Nix as the basis for his prediction.

“The two obviously already have a rapport, and their mutual presence could help shorten the learning curve of both in their rookie year,” Pflum wrote on May 28. “We’ve seen college teammates Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle, and Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith all create fireworks together in the NFL. The potential is there for Nix and Franklin to do the same.”

Pflum also anticipates Franklin will leapfrog any WR on the Broncos’ depth chart “if he plays at the level he did in college.” Broncos Country would likely be ecstatic if Nix and Franklin replicated their collegiate production.

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