With the Super Bowl now in the rearview mirror, we’ve reached the NFL offseason where speculation runs rampant.
After a surprising 2022 season that led to a playoff birth and upset win over the Vikings, the Giants have given the fanbase a taste of the success that they’ve longed for. It’s also sped up the timeline for a rebuild as the team now needs to find a way to remain a fixture in the playoffs. In order to do that, general manager Joe Schoen may need to take a big swing in the offseason, and what bigger swing than a trade for Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy?
In this article, I’ll look at whether or not a trade for the 23-year-old wide receiver would be likely and, if so, why the Giants would be wise to pursue it aggressively.
Why Would the Broncos Trade Jerry Jeudy?
The main reason the Broncos would decide to trade their young receiver is for draft capital.
If you missed it, the Broncos had to trade their first-round pick (No. 29 overall, which they acquired from Miami, by way of San Francisco, in the Bradley Chubb deal) in order to get Sean Payton’s rights from the Saints. As a result, Denver does not have a pick in the 2023 NFL Draft until the third round, when the Broncos have back-to-back picks beginning with No. 68.
Depending on how Sean Payton wants to build this Broncos team up, he might decide that acquiring early-round picks is crucial. Given the exorbitant contract paid out to Russell Wilson, the Broncos are going to have to find cost-controlled contracts to put around him. There is nothing better for that than rookie contracts.
While Jeudy will count for $4.8 million against the salary cap in 2023, he’ll be on the fourth year of his rookie deal. That means the Broncos will have to decide if they want to pick up his fifth-year option, which would come in at just under $13 million for 2024. Then, if the Broncos want to keep Jeudy long-term a new deal for him might cost about $20.1 million per year, according to Spotrac.
The Broncos already have Courtland Sutton signed for an average salary of $15,200,000 through 2025 and Tim Patrick signed for the next two years for an average salary of $11,333,333, so they may not want to add another big contract to their receivers room. Especially for a receiver who has struggled with injuries early in his career.
If Sean Payton and his new staff decide that keeping Jeudy beyond 2023 doesn’t seem feasible, they could move him this offseason while his market value would be at its highest.
It might not be a popular move in Denver, but as Giants general manager Joe Schoen said in his postseason press conference, “There’s a business side to it. There’s rules that you need to operate under in terms of the salary cap.” Those rules may cause the Broncos to at least entertain the possibility of moving Jerry Jeudy this off-season.
According to Over the Cap, Denver has $9.4 million in cap space entering this offseason. They will also need to re-sign Dalton Risner and Dre’Mont Jones plus decide if they want to negotiate new deals for players who will be free agents after next season like cornerback Ronald Darby, linebacker Josey Jewell, and guard Lloyd Cushenberry.
Why Would the Giants Want Jerry Jeudy?
First of all, we know the Giants are interested in Jeudy because they reached out before the NFL trade deadline but found the asking price too high at the time.
Despite not yet recording a 1,000-yard season in his three-year NFL career, it’s clear that Jeudy is an incredibly talented player.
He was Denver’s most explosive wide receiver in 2022, finishing with 67 catches for 972 yards and six touchdowns despite missing three games due to injuries. According to NFL NextGen Stats, he also recorded an average of 6.3 yards after the catch per reception, which was good for 12th-most in the NFL and shows the ability that Jeudy has to make big plays with the ball in his hands.
That production is made all the more impressive when you consider just how bad Denver’s offense was overall on the year, averaging an NFL-worst 16.9 points per game.
Jeudy would be a nice skill complement to Isaiah Hodgins who is a bigger-bodied possession receiver. Hodgins did his best work for the Giants over the middle of the field and in the red zone, while Jeudy could operate as a home run threat that they envisioned Kadarius Toney being.
Considering he’s on a cheap contract for 2023 and would be just $13 million for 2024, the Giants could have Jeudy alongside Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley for at least those two years and then potentially sign Jeudy to a longer-term deal if they are not on the hook for a long Barkley contract.
Given Jeudy’s inconsistent NFL production due to injuries, a trade for him wouldn’t involve as much as the one we proposed for Tee Higgins a few weeks ago. In that one, we used the Buffalo trade for Stefon Diggs as a comparison. At the time, the Buffalo Bills acquired Diggs and a 2020 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick (No. 22 overall), a 2020 fifth-round pick, a 2020 sixth-round pick, and a 2021 fourth-round pick.
In order for the Giants to get Jeudy, they would likely need to part with the 25th-overall pick, but they might be able to only have to add a 5th-rounder or perhaps a fourth while taking another pick back from the Broncos. The Giants could try to get Jeudy for just their second and third-round picks, but that might not be enough, and they might not want to deal two day-two picks.
Will the Trade Happen?
I do think the Broncos will entertain offers for Jeudy, but I think there’s a good chance they decide to keep him around for 2023 given the chemistry he was showing with Wilson. A $13 million option for 2024 isn’t egregious for a player of Jeudy’s caliber, so the Broncos could just decide to deal him next season if it doesn’t work out in Denver again.
For more on the Giants, visit AMNY Sports
STATES: OH, MD, AZ, LA, KS, CO, IL, IN, MI, PA, VA, NJ, TN, IA, WVGET THE APP
FIRST BET INSURANCECLAIM NOW