Broncos Trade WR Jerry Jeudy To The Browns As Denver’s Post-Russell Wilson Fire Sale Continues

Jerry Jeudy
Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The $85 million in dead money the Denver Broncos have to eat over the next two years once Russell Wilson’s post-June 1 release becomes official continues to plague the franchise. Former first-round pick Jerry Jeudy is the latest to go in the name of freeing up cap space, as Denver shipped him to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for fifth- and sixth-round picks on Saturday.

Star safety Justin Simmons was a recent cap casualty in the aftermath of the short-lived Russ Wilson era in Denver, and now Jeudy has been auctioned off for a pair of Day 3 draft selections.

Jeudy was widely considered the best route-runner in his draft class coming out of Alabama in 2020. That’s saying a lot, considering superstars like Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb were drafted after him. Many believe Jeudy has underachieved in the Mile High City. Compared to the likes of Jefferson and Lamb, that statement is true. However, it’s not like the Broncos have done him many favors with their carousel of quarterbacks, coaches and different offensive systems.

Drew Lock started for most of Jeudy’s rookie campaign, followed by Teddy Bridgewater the following year. Then, the debacle that was Nathaniel Hackett’s tenure happened, and this past season marked Jeudy’s third different head coach in four seasons with Sean Payton at the helm. Hard for anyone to have success like that. Apparently multiple other suitors recognized that.

Trade rumors have swirled around the 24-year-old wideout for a while, and those even led Jeudy to a rather hilarious pregame spat with Steve Smith Sr. this past season.

Since Jeudy is playing out the fifth-year option of his contract, Denver saves nearly $13 million in cap space for 2024 by sending him to Cleveland. It’s a decent trade for both sides, really. The Broncos got a couple draft assets in exchange for a player who would struggle for a big role anyway this year, especially with Denver’s uncertainty at QB and the presences of incumbent playmakers Courtland Sutton and Marvin Mims Jr.

As for the Browns’ side of this, well, sacrificing two more draft picks, combined with the fact that they don’t have a first-rounder again this year, is a bit of a bold choice. However, they have an intriguing (if enigmatic) wide receiver trio on paper. Amari Cooper is the clear WR1 who can absolutely take over a game at any given moment, yet he also has puzzling stretches where he seems to disappear more than any other supposed elite receiver. Elijah Moore is a former high second-round pick similar to Jeudy in that his explosive skill set and production don’t seem to match up.

I guess it’s good for Cleveland to surround Deshaun Watson with as many weapons as possible, because as of now, that move to acquire the disgraced field general looks like a disaster. Jeudy may very well be walking into yet another bad QB situation. Depending on how south things could go for the historically combustible Browns organization, it’s very possible Jeudy is playing on his third different team in three years in 2025.

More than anything else, at least there’s some semi-compelling NFL news hitting us in early March. If Jeudy was going anywhere else, I’d hope for him to land on his feet. Just hard to wish anything good upon the Browns given that they employ Watson as their starting QB. Maybe another team will come along in 2025, Jerry.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock