Courtland Sutton wants to represent Broncos on NFL’s “All-Pro” team. He’s banking that Russell Wilson, Nathaniel Hackett, a little health and a lot of winning gets him there.


Courtland Sutton prefers to keep his personal goals personal. Karma doesn’t bark in the NFL, but it bites like a tiger shark.

“I don’t really like to share them,” the Broncos wideout chuckled. “I’m not superstitious. But as Michael Scott (from the TV show ‘The Office’) would say, I am a little-stitious.”

But big No. 14 gives you one anyway. A teaser.

“Ultimately, the Pro Bowl is nice, but I’m trying to get to being an All-Pro,” Sutton told me after the Broncos wrapped up practice Saturday at UCHealth Training Center. “(That’s) obviously where I really want to be.

“It’s ultimately where I’m trying to get to. The Pro Bowl is nice. As we know, it’s a fan thing. I’m trying to get to something higher.”

The 26-year-old Sutton was named to the AFC’s Pro Bowl squad as an injury replacement for DeAndre Hopkins following a 2019 regular season that saw the 6-foot-4, rangy Texan rack up 1,112 receiving yards and six touchdowns, and form what looked to be a telepathic relationship with quarterback Drew Lock.

Where Lock was concerned, it wound up being fool’s gold. For Sutton, meanwhile, it might’ve been the best and worst thing for his young career. It’s not that raising the bar was the issue. It’s just that a devastating knee injury and inconsistency have made the blasted thing more difficult to reach ever since.

“My body probably wasn’t in the same place that I am right now,” Sutton said of a 2021 season, his first since knee surgery in 2020, that saw him snag 58 balls for 776 yards.

“My body (this summer) is in a great place. Mentally, I’m in a great place. And I’m just ready to go out and showcase what I’m capable of doing with the guys (we’ve) got here and (we) believe in. I’m looking forward to it.”

And looking forward to life with Russell Wilson, whose quarterbacking proclivities, on paper, play right into Sutton’s strengths.

Sumptuous deep balls? Check. Ability to extend time in the pocket with his feet? Check. Love for big targets? Check. The savvy to turn “free plays,” once the yellow flags go flying, into big gains up the boundary? Check.

“I love it,” Sutton said of his new everything — new coach, new offensive coordinator, new system, new signal-caller. “It’s a fresh start. We’ve got a quarterback that we’ve been waiting for. We’ve got a fine coaching staff that believes in us and gives us the opportunity to go out and play and have fun. It’s exciting.”

The brace is gone, which is even better. But whenever Sutton needs a dose of humility, he can look down the scars on his left knee, souvenirs from a detour he’d sooner not repeat. A reminder of the ACL tear suffered in Week 2 of the 2020 campaign at Pittsburgh.

“There’s always room for improvement,” Sutton replied. “It’s about growth. ‘What can I get better at?’ and not a finger-pointing situation. What could I have done a little better in order to make the (end result) different?’”

According to, Sutton’s cap hit of $5.3 million for 2022 ranks 34th among NFL wideouts, making him a relative bargain compared to the Raiders’ Davante Adams ($8.17 million) and the Chargers’ duo of Keenan Allen ($19.2 million) and Mike Williams ($14.0 million).

When the Broncos last November locked up Sutton (four years, $60.8 million) and running mate Tim Patrick (three years, $34 million) to contract extensions, it came off the runway as a win-win all around. At first blush, it was the kind of gambit that gave two key contributors some financial security and general manager George Paton some cap flexibility along the way.

But after a solid start to his comeback season, Sutton’s statistics cratered in the weeks immediately following his contract announcement. After averaging 4.3 receptions for 61.7 receiving yards over his opening 10 games last autumn, the receiver dipped to 2.1 catches and 22.7 yards per game during his final seven appearances. The Broncos went 2-5 in those games, and you know the rest of the story.


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