Broncos’ $61 Million Team Captain Takes Bold Stance on Contract After Surgery

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

Getty Courtland Sutton #14 of the Denver Broncos.

There was one notable absence as the Denver Broncos returned to the team facilities in Dove Valley for their voluntary offseason program.

Wide receiver Courtland Sutton remained away from the team in what appears to be a holdout for a new contract, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on April 16. Sutton is heading into the third year of his four-year, $60.8 million contract.

But that may not be the only reason the 2023 team captain remains away from the team.

“Per source, Courtland Sutton had offseason ankle surgery. Injury occurred in 2023 finale at Raiders,” 9News’ Mike Klis reported on X on April 16. “Doesn’t seem like team or Courtland is concerned. Team picked up his $2M guarantee option in March. He has been working out daily in Florida.”

While rehab is offered as a contributing factor in Sutton’s absence, Klis did report on the financial aspect.

The Broncos’ significant player losses could have Sutton seeking a “stronger commitment.”

Klis also noted the three-year, $52.5 million contract former teammate Jerry Jeudy agreed to after the Broncos traded him to the Cleveland Browns. That gives Sutton’s less-proven Jeudy a $2.5 million edge in annual salary.

Jeudy also received $41 million in guaranteed money whereas Sutton received $34.9 million in the deal he signed in 2021.

Sutton can stay away without penalty until their mandatory minicamp opens on June 11.

From there, he will incur penalties upwards of $50,000 in the first three days. His salary still ranks 15th in total value among all wide receivers. That is three spots above Jeudy, but perhaps not enough.

Broncos Insider Compares Courtland Sutton to Garett Bolles

Courtland Sutton, Denver Broncos

GettyCourtland Sutton #14 of the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos selected Sutton in the second round (No. 40 overall) of the 2018 draft. Despite the offense’s struggles, he logged 59 receptions, 772 yards, and a career-high 10 touchdowns last season.

That doesn’t mean everyone agrees with his decision even with his surgery and the voluntary nature of this portion of the offseason program.

“Business is business and players are entitled to address business as they wish,” Klis wrote. “But it’s worth noting seven-year starting LT Garett Bolles has just one year left on his contract – $0 guaranteed – and he showed up Monday for first day of Broncos offseason program.

Bolles is wrapping up a four-year, $68 million contract.

While the team made a commitment of some type to Sutton and converted $13.8 million of Mike McGlinchey’s salary into a bonus to create cap space, Bolles’ situation remains unchanged.

Garett Bolles Could Be Entering Final Season With Broncos

Garett Bolles, Denver Broncos

GettyGarett Bolles #72 of the Denver Broncos.

Broncos general manager George Paton spoke highly of Bolles’ efforts last season. But the Broncos remain a team to watch for a tackle with the former No. 20 overall in the 2017 draft, Bolles, turning 32 years old in May.

“I think he had a good season. I think he played well,” Broncos general manager George Paton told reporters about Bolles on March 25. “Obviously, there’s always things you can prove on. But shoot, Garett, I think he’s 31,32 [years old]. He still moves like he’s 25, and I thought he had a good year.”

The Broncos could still have something planned for Bolles and Sutton as they did McGlinchey.

That wouldn’t preclude the Broncos from a short-term solution, taking a rookie, and grooming him behind Bolles for next season at least.

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