Broncos Call Franchise Legend, Trade for $14 Million ‘Lamborghini’

Broncos Call Franchise Legend, Trade for $14 Million ‘Lamborghini’

The Denver Broncos remade their roster via the draft, free agency, and the trade market this offseason.

However, their youth movement has left a few veteran holdovers, including wide receiver Courtland Sutton. The 28-year-old receiver is coming off scoring a career-high 10 touchdowns last season. But he left the door open to a training camp holdout over his current contract.

Mile High Sports’ Rich Kurtzman suggests the Broncos seize the opportunity to take advantage of a similar situation with San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

“Aiyuk has become increasingly frustrated with a lack of a deal and has even helped build the trade rumors. And the Denver Broncos should be on the phone with San Francisco about him. But are they?” Kurtzman wrote on June 30. “Would the Niners be open to trading Aiyuk for Sutton?

“Probably not straight-up, because Aiyuk is not only a better receiver, but he’s younger, too. It’s possible they’d take Sutton and a draft pick, though.”

Aiyuk, the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 draft, is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

A standout at Arizona State University before entering the league, he is also a technically sound player. The league released a highlight package of the Aiyuk, captioning the post with “Brandon Aiyuk = route running aficionado” on May 29.

He is also seeking a new contract playing on the fifth-year option of his four-year, $12.5 million contract. The 26-year-old wideout will count $14.1 million against the salary cap next season with no new deal in place.

“[Head Coach] Sean Payton and [General Manager] George Paton have already rebuilt the wide receiver room around Sutton, bringing in Josh Reynolds and drafting Troy Franklin. But, would they trade out Sutton for Aiyuk? It seems likely,” Kurtzman wrote. “At bare minimum, the Broncos should be on the phone exploring a deal with general manager and former Bronco John Lynch of the Niners.”

Veteran Tim Patrick looked back to health in camp while second-year wideout Marvin Mims Jr. will have a larger role in the offense according to Payton.

The Broncos also drafted big-bodied wideout Devaughn Vele.

Only Sutton, Patrick, and Reynolds are proven at the NFL level, though.  A trade for Aiyuk would give the Broncos a top-notch playmaker to pair with rookie first-round pick Bo Nix, who is one of the older rookies at 24 years old.

Kurtzman’s suggestion would shave $3.3 million from the Broncos’ bottom line this season, with Sutton carrying a $17.4 million cap hit in the final year of a four-year, $60.8 million contract.

Brandon Aiyuk Could Eye Team-Up With Former Broncos QB

Aiyuk has not been shy about addressing trade speculation, noting that he believes he will be in a 49ers uniform next season. But he has also named-dropped some potential landing spots he could envision for himself if a trade occurred. The Broncos were not on the list.

One of those spots is with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“They told me that they didn’t think that we’re on the same page and that they didn’t believe that we were going to and that was about it at that time. But it’s part of it. It’s part of the contract negotiations, trying to sway stuff in either direction. So whether that’s 100% true or not, I guess that’s still to find out,” Aiyuk said on “The Pivot Podcast” on June 28.

Aiyuk said there were days he felt close enough to prepare for an announcement and others where the gap was evident.

He was also asked directly which uniform he predicts he will wear next season.

“If I were to take a guess, probably a Niner uniform,” Aiyuk said. “I mean, if not a Niner uniform, probably a Washington Commander uniform. If not a Washington Commander uniform, probably a Steelers uniform.”

That could make a trade for Aiyuk a risky and costly proposition. An acquiring team would have the option of franchise tagging him. Over The Cap projects that will cost $24.7 million in 2025.

“If you can’t afford a Lamborghini, you can’t have one,” Aiyuk said

Courtland Sutton Could Benefit if Broncos Trade for Brandon Aiyuk

The Steelers signed Russell Wilson this offseason after the Broncos cut him. The latter is also paying the quarterback $39 million while incurring an $85 million dead cap hit.

$53 million of that is on the books this season.

The Steelers were also a team linked to Sutton in trade rumors in a potential reunion with his former quarterback. Denver has shown no interest in trading Sutton despite also standing firm on his current contract.

Sutton, likewise, has not demanded a trade from the Broncos. He has instead insisted he hopes to be in the Broncos’ long-term plans.

Kurtzman’s scenario would give Sutton a better chance to contend for a championship, though.

Fox Sports set the over/under for the Broncos’ win total at 5.5 games next season in June. Conversely, the 49ers are coming off a Super Bowl appearance. Fox Sports set their over/under at 11.5 wins, underscoring the different stages the teams are at.


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