The Denver Broncos have the second-most salary cap space in the NFL and whatever they don’t use this season will roll over and be added to the team’s 2022 cap total.
Denver will presumably dedicate a large chunk of their rollover cap toward contract extensions for wide receiver Courtland Sutton and outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, who are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next spring.
“Those are two of our core guys,” Broncos general manager George Paton said during a pre-training camp press conference last month. “I’ve said it a number of times — we’re going to keep our core guys. That’s our goal.
“We’re going draft and develop, and we’re going to take care of our own. Right now, we’re focused on camp and getting through camp. At the right time, we’re going to try and get these guys done and they know that.”
Sutton had a breakout season in 2019 and made the Pro Bowl after catching 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns. Sutton missed almost all of last season with an ACL injury and he’s now aiming to prove that he’s fully recovered and deserving of a long-term contract.
“If I can be a Bronco for life that would be a thing that I would love to be able to do,” Sutton said in July. “However, I know that comes with consistent work. It’s not just going to be something that’s handed to me. I have to go out there and prove to not only myself, but to my teammates, to Paton, and the rest of the team, the rest of the guys upstairs that I deserve that.
“It’s not just something that’s handed out, and it’s my job to go out there and prove that day in and day out and that’s exactly what I’m going to go do.”
Chubb recorded 12 sacks as a rookie but then missed most of the 2019 season with his own ACL injury. Chubb bounced back last year and made the Pro Bowl but ended the year with an ankle injury. Chubb is now healthy again his representatives have already spoken with the Broncos about an extension.
The edge defender aims to focus on his play and let the contract situation work itself out while he helps Denver return to playoff contention.
“They have [started contract talks], but I try to stay out of that, man,” Chubb said earlier this month. “I try to focus on getting back onto this field and doing everything I can to help this team win.
“All that is going to take care of itself. The winning is what’s most important. When you take care of that, everything falls into place. That’s my main thing — just getting back to that winning trek.”
The Broncos will look to get their first win of 2021 when they face the New York Giants in their season opener on Sunday, Sept. 12 (view the full schedule here).