It seems increasingly likely that the New England Patriots will not be making a splash move to acquire a veteran wide receiver via trade. Not only are there questions about the team’s involvement with Arizona’s DeAndre Hopkins, another potential target will apparently not be moved this offseason.
According to Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton, the club will keep wideout Jerry Jeudy for 2023. The same is true for his teammate and fellow wide receiver Courtland Sutton.
“I see and read just like everyone else does,” Payton told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Sunday. “Then occasionally, when someone really crowds the plate, I throw a fastball right at their chin, and they back up, and they’re like, ‘Alright.’ And so I haven’t thrown any fastballs lately, but we’re not trading those two players.
“When people call and the phone rings like it does this time of year, George Paton’s job is to pick it up and say, ‘Hey. Tell you what, we’re not.’ And so, we’ve received calls, you bet. Those are two good football players. But we’re in the business of gathering talent right now. Why do people call? Because they know we’re void of draft picks and that we might, because there was some discussions a year ago, I think, regarding Courtland. But we like the current group that we’re working with.”
Jeudy, who spent part of his college career at Alabama playing with current Patriots starting quarterback Mac Jones, originally entered the NFL as a first-round draft pick in 2020. After an encouraging rookie season and relatively disappointing sophomore campaign, he had his best year to date in 2022.
One of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak Broncos offense, the 23-year-old caught 67 passes for 972 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games. Nonetheless, with Denver lacking first- and second-round draft picks this year there was speculation that the team would be willing to move on from him.
The Patriots did reportedly give Denver a call but nothing has come from it. The belief was that the Broncos’ rumored asking price of either a first-round pick or a second-rounder plus additional assets turned teams away — New England among them.
Payton going on the record on Sunday to claim that neither Jeudy nor Sutton will be traded now basically shuts that door for good, if he is a man of his word.