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Broncos trading WR Jerry Jeudy to Cleveland for pair of 2024 draft picks, sources say

The Broncos finally traded Jerry Jeudy.

The 2020 first-round draft pick, subject of rumors for more than 18 months, is headed to Cleveland in exchange for a pair of Day 3 draft picks, multiple sources confirmed Saturday to The Denver Post.

Denver is receiving the first selection of the fifth-round (No. 135 overall) and a sixth-rounder (No. 202 overall) from the Browns, a source said. Trading Jeudy also clears $12.987 million in salary cap space for Denver in 2024 without incurring any dead cap charges.

The Broncos now have approximately $31.3 million in cap space, according to OvertheCap data.

It’s been a transformative week for Denver, which officially informed quarterback Russell Wilson of his release Monday. Then over the past three days Denver has said goodbye to safety Justin Simmons, Jeudy and tight end Chris Manhertz, cleared more than $48 million in cap space and set itself up to continue overhauling the roster going into its second season under coach Sean Payton.

Jeudy showed flashes of his immense potential over his first four professional seasons but never blossomed into the top-line receiver the Broncos thought they had when they selected him No. 15 overall in 2020.

His best season came in 2022, when a strong finishing surge put him at 972 yards and six touchdowns on 67 grabs.

All the while, though, he consistently came up in rumors about whether his future was in Denver or elsewhere.

The Browns made a run at him again in 2023 only to have Denver decide to hold the line under Payton.

At the close of the season, Jeudy said he couldn’t care less if his name continued percolating.

“I don’t give a (expletive) about none of that,” he said.

Now, though, a deal is done and Jeudy is off to a new team.

Into his role steps second-year man Marvin Mims Jr., whom Payton said last month saw his role curbed in part because he played a similar one to Jeudy.

“I really think the only thing that really stopped his progress as a receiver was us in trying to find roles,” Payton said at the NFL combine. “He’s playing the same position as Jerry. And I’ve said that a number of times: I think you’re going to see a lot of growth with this player. He’s tough. He can run. And we’re certainly excited we have him. But I think the key is for us and I say us as coaches, game planning, evolving in every time we kind of put his name on a certain play he hasn’t disappointed. That doesn’t mean the ball always went to him.

“But the point I’m making is I think his progress was hampered a little bit more with the depth in the room and what we were able to do in sometimes trying to balance that out. I think we’ll see that expand.”

The draft picks and salary cap space matter, too. Denver now has eight picks at its disposal in next month’s draft, including three in the fifth round.

The Broncos can use that space in free agency, will need some of it for their rookie draft class and may well consider taking $53 million of Russell Wilson’s dead money in 2024 rather than $35.4 million in order to expedite the process of trying to get out from under the record-setting $85 million dead cap charge.

Broncos don’t plan on re-signing Williams: The Broncos do not plan on re-signing cornerback K’Waun Williams after he missed the entire 2023 season due to ankle surgery, a league source told The Post. While Williams was sidelined, second-year cornerback Ja’Quan McMillian stepped up and thrived in the nickel role, totaling 51 tackles, two interceptions, a pair of sacks and five passes defended.

Williams’ only season in Denver was in 2022, when he registered 44 tackles and seven passes defended. Before joining the Broncos, Williams spent five seasons with the 49ers and two in Cleveland.

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