Broncos’ $17 Million Pro Bowler Hints at Potential Training Camp Holdout

Sean Payton, Denver Broncos

Getty Head coach Sean Payton of the Denver Broncos.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton ended his contract holdout.

He attended Day 1 of mandatory minicamp as Head Coach Sean Payton anticipated. Sutton had missed the entire offseason program while also seeking a new contract.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported the two matters as being linked. Sutton, however, suggested the two issues were separate while also saying he worked with the Broncos medical staff to set up his ankle surgery and rehab in Florida this offseason.

The 2019 Pro Bowler also said he could take things a step further.

“I don’t know who talk to them [NFL Network],” Sutton told reporters on June 11. “But I mean, obviously, it’s something that has been … conversed about. And my team and I have been in contact with the guys upstairs to handle all of that stuff. And we kind of going back and forth trying to figure out the best way to kind of find a middle ground for the situation.

“We are at a stalemate in a sense. But I have confidence and faith that the right thing will be done.”

Pressed on if he could skip training camp if he cannot secure a deal, Sutton left the door open.

“We’ll see what happens,” Sutton said. “Got a month to be able to get things situated. Hopefully, things get situated.”

Sutton said that he contemplated skipping minicamp, but that it was “tough” for him “because I love ball.” He also noted that he was “upset” about his situation lingering as long as it has. How that will impact his thinking going through the rest of minicamp and into training camp is unclear.

Courtland Sutton Wants to Stay With Broncos

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

GettyCourtland Sutton #14 of the Denver Broncos.

Sutton is entering Year 3 of a four-year, $60.8 million contract. He has a $17.4 million cap hit in 2024 that the Broncos could lower with an extension. But only $2 million of his $13.5 million salary is guaranteed.

The Broncos would incur a $5.8 million dead cap hit if they cut him this offseason.

They would still save $11.6 million in that scenario. But the Broncos are carrying $67.5 million in dead money. They can cut Sutton in 2025 with a $3 million dead cap hit, saving $14 million.

“This is where I want to be,” Sutton said. “This is home, this is where I want to go hoist the Lombardi trophy, this is the place where I want to be able to retire, this is the place where I want to, hopefully, be able to put enough out once my career is done that I can you know hopefully be able to have a bid at the Bronco Ring of Honor.

“Those are all things that you know have to be earned. And, hopefully, I’m able to have the time to be able to continue to showcase that you know I’m capable of being in that caliber of people rather.”

Sutton sent a shoutout to 2024 Broncos Ring of Fame inductees, safety Steve Foley and tight end Riley Odoms.

The act underscored his stance on wanting to stay with the Broncos.

Courtland Sutton Clears Air on Absence From OTAs

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

GettyCourtland Sutton #14 of the Denver Broncos.

9News’ Mike Klis reported on Sutton’s ankle surgery in April amid the NFL Network report. The wideout cleared the air about his absence, which neither Payton nor General Manager George Paton expressed any concerns about.

Sutton said the surgeon who performed his procedure was recommended by the Broncos’ training staff and that his stay in Florida was in coordination with Payton.

“Linked up with the training staff here. They sent me down to Florida to a guy that they were comfortable with and was down there working with him, getting my ankle right,” Sutton said. “Was having a really good rehab process and talking to the team they, Coach, and I were on the same page of me being able to stay down there and continue to get my ankle to where I needed to get to so that, ultimately, [I would] be able to get ready for the season.”

That could explain Payton’s confidence that the receiver would attend minicamp.

How both sides handle training camp could be a different story entirely. A source close to Sutton said that he “isn’t in the business of giving money away,” per Klis on June 6. Unlike the portion of the offseason program he missed, Sutton will be subject to fines if he skips training camp.