PHOENIX — The Broncos aren’t trading wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, coach Sean Payton said Monday from the NFL annual meeting.
Payton confirmed the team has received calls about Jeudy and fellow wide receiver Courtland Sutton, but maintained both players will remain in Denver for the upcoming season.
“When people call and the phone rings like it does this time of year, [general manager] George Paton’s job is to pick it up and say, ‘Hey. Tell you what, we’re not,’ ” Payton said. “Those are two good football players. But we’re in the business of gathering talent right now.”
Jeudy, who turns 24 in April, is among the talented young receivers the Patriots could pursue in a trade this offseason. He overlapped with Mac Jones for three years at Alabama, though Jeudy was already in the NFL when Jones became a starter in 2020.
The Broncos have just five picks in this year’s draft, with the earliest selection in the third round. Paton had said at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team is interested in acquiring more draft capital, but doing so while hanging on to Jeudy and Sutton may be difficult.
The Patriots, meanwhile, have been linked to Jeudy as one of the most interested teams. New England added JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason, but still lacks a traditional No. 1 option. Asked Monday about the potential of upgrading the position, coach Bill Belichick offered a general answer. He would not comment on any players on other teams.
“I don’t know,” Belichick said. “If we can improve our team, we’ll try to improve our team. Wouldn’t be limited to any position.”
The addition of Smith-Schuster, who signed a three-year deal, should help the Patriots out of the slot. His yards-after-the-catch ability is among his strengths, with Chiefs coach Andy Reid likening him to a running back.
“I love JuJu,” Reid said. “He’s a good player, understands the game, understands space. He’s not the fastest guy, but he’s fast enough. He loves to play. He’ll do well there.”
Only Smith-Schuster and Tyquan Thornton are under contract for the 2024 season, with DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne set to become free agents after this year.
McDaniel excited for Gesicki
Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel has high hopes for his former tight end, Mike Gesicki, who signed a one-year contract with the Patriots this offseason.
“I’m excited that he’s getting the opportunity,” McDaniel said Monday. “I think what you’re getting is a guy with a chip on his shoulder that is gonna really go after it, and I think do whatever the coaches ask of him. He’s a guy that I think the Miami fan base will miss and be excited to see — it’s just unfortunate in a weird uniform.”
Gesicki’s role diminished last season, with 32 catches for 362 yards and five touchdowns in the regular season. His numbers were the lowest they’ve been since his rookie season. Gesicki appeared in all 17 games but was on the field for just 45.2 percent of the offense’s snaps — a significant drop from the 71.8 percent he played in 2021.
The Patriots certainly have an open role for Gesicki alongside tight end Hunter Henry. The team traded Jonnu Smith to Atlanta after two disappointing seasons.
Best yet to come for Meyers?
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels seems confident former Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers will play his “best football” in Las Vegas.
McDaniels, who worked with Meyers for three seasons in New England before signing him as a free agent this offseason, expects a smooth transition. He cited Meyers’s experience with three different quarterbacks (Tom Brady, Cam Newton, and Jones), as well as his durability.
“His ability to be available has been something that I’ve been impressed with,” McDaniels said. “He’s only missed a few games in his career here and there. He’s gone in there and done the dirty work in the inside, too — part of the formation, whether it be blocking, catching, getting hit, that sort of thing, so he’s got a great toughness about him that I love.”