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Broncos WR Courtland Sutton flattered other teams might want him, but Denver 'is home'

Trade rumors dogged Broncos wide receivers all offseason.

Head coach Sean Payton dismissed them at every turn, and now Courtland Sutton has cleared the air on them, too.

"It's flattering that other teams see me as a guy that can come in and be a guy for them," he said Friday during Denver's organized team activities. "I love that I'm here. This is where, ultimately, you guys know that I want to be at. This is home. I've been able to come here and continue to build the thing that we're aspiring to get to. Coach Payton coming in, bringing the coaches in that he's brought in, bringing the guys in that he's brought in. You know, everybody's bought in and ready to take this thing to the next level."

Although much of the trade buzz stemmed from Denver's excellent depth at the WR position, the talent level did little to help the Broncos excel last year.

The offense's struggles are well documented, having finished last in the league in points during a 5-12 season that saw first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett get fired after 15 games.

Sutton was not immune to the woes that came in quarterback Russell Wilson's first campaign with the team. He still had 64 receptions for 829 yards, but Sutton struggled to string together consistent performances. He scored just twice, and his 13.0 yards per catch was the lowest of his career.

Still, there remains cause for optimism. By plucking Payton, an offensive guru and Super Bowl champion, out of retirement, the Broncos gave the squad its best chance at emerging from the offensive doldrums.

In Payton's 15 seasons as New Orleans' head coach, his offense ranked top ten in the NFL in both points and yards 11 times.

To help foster the turnaround alongside Payton, Sutton has been studying tape from Saints WR Michael Thomas' record-breaking, 149-catch season.

"I actually just got, not too long ago, I just got Michael Thomas' 2019 targets from his year that he broke the (receptions) record," he said. "Just diving into it. Being able to see how he may have ran a route that we are learning right now. Figuring out ways to be able to get open because obviously he had a really good year that year. So, to be able to find ways to implement the things he did well into my game, I feel like we'll be able to have a lot of success."

If what he sees on tape and learns from his new head coach heading into this season pay dividends, Sutton and the Broncos could be on their way to rekindling the hype that surrounded them only a year ago.

"Everybody's taking this as another opportunity to put forth their best foot and showcase what we know the Denver Broncos are and what we stand for," Sutton said. "It's nice to be able to have a fresh start."

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