Sean Payton hasn’t coached a single snap for the Broncos since coming out of retirement, but he’s already dismissing whispers that are surrounding his players. Payton denied rumors that Denver is looking to trade wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton when he spoke to NFL Network this weekend.

“I see and read just like everyone else does,” Payton told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero on Sunday at the Annual League Meeting. “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, [general manager] 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,” he continued. “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.”

ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported on March 13 that the Broncos were openly shopping Jeudy, Sutton and KJ Hamler as well. Since then, Hamler has suffered a partially torn pectoral muscle while training away from the team, per Pelissero. He will be sidelined for four to six months but may be able to recover in time for training camp. 

Despite their need for draft picks and overall offensive improvement, Payton seems set on keeping those playmakers on the roster. Jeudy was a first-round draft pick in 2020 and led the team in receiving yards (972) and touchdown catches (6) in 2022. The Broncos drafted Sutton in 2018 and he caught 64 passes for 829 yards and two touchdowns this past season.