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'This is where I want to be': WR Courtland Sutton details difficulty of missing OTAs, high expectations for 2024 season

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — As Courtland Sutton joined the Broncos for mandatory minicamp, he emphasized the difficulty of being away during voluntary organized team activities and stressed Denver remains the place he wants to finish his career.

"This is where I want to be," Sutton said Tuesday. "This is home. This is where I want to go hoist the Lombardi Trophy. This is the place where I want to be able to retire. This is the place where I want to hopefully be able to put enough out once my career is done that I can hopefully be able to have a bid at the Broncos Ring of [Fame]. Those are all things that have to be earned, and hopefully I'm able to have the time to be able to continue to showcase that I'm capable of being in that caliber of people."

Sutton spent the previous weeks rehabbing an offseason ankle surgery and working out in Florida, and he said it "wasn't easy" for him to spend time away from his teammates.

"I love ball," Sutton said. "I love this game. I love the camaraderie that it brings with teammates. I love seeing the pure joy on people's faces when they play it and when they watch it. … It was definitely a tough couple months of not being able to be around with the guys and just be around ball."

Sutton added that it was not "a high consideration" to miss mandatory minicamp.

"I love the guys," Sutton said. "To be able to come out here and watch practice and be around the guys — even just in stretch — and move around a little bit with them was so much fun. I enjoyed it to the fullest."

Sutton did not participate in seven-on-seven or team drills, but he did participate in a few individual drills before working on a side field. Head Coach Sean Payton said the Broncos will continue to be diligent about Sutton's participation.

"It's great having him out here," Payton said. "He's in good shape, but you don't want to just throw him in there, and so we'll be smart about that."

Sutton said he believes he is now medically cleared and said his body "feels really good" as training camp nears.

"I had a really good rehab process, and [I'm] continuing to just get my body to where I want it to be at so that ultimately once September, October roll around, I'm where I need to be at so I can go out and perform," Sutton said.

When the season arrives, Sutton hopes to continue to build off a season in which he posted a career-high 10 touchdowns.

"That's the No. 1 thing for myself," Sutton said. "Each year, it's really important for me to continue to make sure that I'm ascending in my career and not getting to a spot where I feel like I [stagnate]. I feel like I have so much more left in myself, in my body — mentally, physically. I feel like I have so much that's left to be able to give. I want to be able to do that. I want to be able to go out and produce and do more. It was nice to be able to have the 10 touchdowns, but I know there's more in there. I missed some, left some out there this past year."

Sutton acknowledged the success he had with former quarterback Russell Wilson, but he also said he hoped to see what he can achieve next in 2024.

"I'm looking forward to myself and seeing where my talents can take me, what new heights I'm able to get to with whoever winds up being the guy that they pick to be the starter [at quarterback]," Sutton said. "That's a really good room right now — those guys are out there competing really well. While I was away, I was able to watch some of the film and get to see the guys throw the ball around, and they all look really good. It's going to be a really fun training camp seeing guys go out there and compete. Whoever winds up emerging — if I'm blessed and lucky enough to be able to catch passes from them this upcoming season — ... I think we're going to be able to do some special things."

Sutton also hopes to be able to help the Broncos find success and return to the postseason far quicker than some national media project is possible. Though Denver parted ways with several key players this offseason, Sutton said he hopes to be "a part of the game plan" moving forward.

"I'm praying and also working toward and continuing to stay in God's ears that this isn't going to be a three-year process," Sutton said. "We want to win right now. I think that whoever winds up coming out, if it's Bo [Nix], if it's Jarrett [Stidham], if it's Zach [Wilson] — whoever winds up coming out, I think that they're going to give us the best chance to win.

"I don't see this being a three-, four-year [building] process. But if it becomes a three-, four-year dynasty, then I would hope that I'm able to be a part of it."

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