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Rehabbing $30 Million Star Running Routes, Could Be Trade Candidate

Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick missed the past two seasons but is back on the field and could fetch some interest in a trade.
Tim Patrick

The past few years have not been kind to Denver Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick. After going undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Utah product bounced around the league before finding a home with the Denver Broncos. While he played sparingly in 2018 and 2019, the wideout became a playmaking threat in 2020. Taking over for an injured Courtland Sutton, Patrick finished the season with 51 receptions for 742 yards and six touchdowns despite subpar quarterback play. Sutton returned to the lineup in 2021, but Patrick remained a key part of the offense. Starting in all 16 games, the veteran recorded 53 receptions for 734 yards and five touchdowns, earning a three-year, $30 million extension after the season for his efforts.

Unfortunately, it has all been downhill for Patrick since that fateful contract. The wide receiver missed the entirety of the Russell Wilson Era due to injury, tearing his ACL in the 2022 offseason and suffering a season-ending Achilles injury in July of 2023. Now entering the final year of his deal, Patrick is back on the field and reportedly running routes again, but will the Broncos have room for him on the roster?

Tim Patrick Is Healthy Again, But Could Broncos Trade Him?

Due to no fault of his own, Tim Patrick has not come close to justifying his extension and would’ve been cut by now under normal circumstances. However, the wide receiver recently agreed to a pay cut, reducing his 2023 salary to just $1.63 million, with none of it guaranteed. With this in mind, the Broncos have no financial reason to release the wide receiver, but they could trade him if the right offer comes along.

After taking on a record amount of dead cap to release Russell Wilson, the Denver Broncos have effectively punted on the 2023 season. With Bo Nix set to take over sooner or later, Sean Payton will spend the year figuring out who will and won’t be a part of this team’s future. Chances are, that future will not include Tim Patrick. Even without the lingering health questions, the wide receiver is still entering his age-31 season. Nobody will give up much for Patrick, but these five teams could be interested in a conditional late-round pick swap.

Possible Destinations

Los Angeles Chargers

Teams generally try to avoid trades within the division, but the Chargers and Broncos should be willing to overlook their rivalry for a low-stakes deal like this. Los Angeles will try to win with Justin Herbert and Jim Harbaugh, but both player and coach will need more weapons to keep up with the Kansas City Chiefs. Ladd McConkey has some promise, but the rest of the depth chart is either untested or underwhelming. Tim Patrick might not have anything left in his tank, but he’s worth a gamble on this underwhelming depth chart.

New Orleans Saints

New Orleans could use another veteran receiver but lacks the financial resources to go after a big-name trade target. Derek Carr is only as good as the players around him, and while some quarterbacks could get by with Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, the Saints should bring in a third reliable set of hands. Tim Patrick can provide some cost-effective security and insurance if A.T. Perry doesn’t make the Year 2 leap.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are actively looking for another receiver opposite George Pickens. While the team has swung and missed for big-name trade targets like D.K. Metcalf and Brandon Aiyuk, they could pivot to Tim Patrick. The veteran wide receiver won’t excite too many fans, but he’s a fine depth option who should have some chemistry with Russell Wilson. Even though the two never played in a game together, they still practiced together for two offseasons.

Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones knows he’ll have to spend a lot of money to keep Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and Micah Parsons in town. With that in mind, the owner has done next to nothing to invest in the 2024 Dallas Cowboys. Even though they appear to be sitting ducks, this team still has talent and could go on a deep playoff run. Tim Patrick is essentially free, so Jones shouldn’t have an issue with giving up a late-round pick for a player with the potential to complement Lamb in this passing attack.

Baltimore Ravens

Last year at this point, the Ravens gambled on a talented wide receiver coming off a serious injury. That bet somewhat paid off, as Odell Beckham had a solid season in Baltimore. However, now that the veteran is in Miami, the Ravens can make a similar wager with Tim Patrick. While he is a larger question mark, he’s substantially cheaper than Beckham and has the talent to be an adequate third or fourth option in the passing attack.

Main Photo: Ron Chenoy – USA Today Sports


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