ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The Denver Broncos are trading star-crossed pass rusher Bradley Chubb to Miami for a package that includes the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick next year.
The Broncos (3-5) also get running back Chase Edmonds and a 2024 fourth-rounder from the Dolphins (5-3), who are getting a 2025 fifth-rounder from Denver.
Chubb’s departure comes a year after the Broncos traded franchise sacks leader Von Miller, who helped the Rams win the Super Bowl in February before signing with the Buffalo Bills this offseason.
“This was a difficult decision that involved many considerations as we work to build a championship team,” GM George Paton said in a statement. “We have great confidence in our players, including a talented group of pass rushers, and this trade brings us significant draft capital to continue improving our roster.
“Our goals and expectations of winning – and sustaining that success in pursuit of a Super Bowl – will not change,” Paton added. “We believe in this team and are excited for the opportunity we have in the second half of the year.”
Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler also were coveted leading up to the NFL’s trade deadline Tuesday, but Paton chose to keep his receiving group intact as the team tries to develop more chemistry on offense over the second half of the season.
To bolster his suddenly depleted pass rush, Paton worked out a secondary deal in acquiring fifth-year pass rusher Jacob Martin from the New York Jets in a deal that included an exchange of 2024 draft picks with the Broncos giving up a fourth-rounder and the Jets a fifth-rounder.
The first-round pick Paton obtained in the Chubb trade is the one that the Dolphins acquired from San Francisco that allowed the 49ers to move up and draft quarterback Trey Lance in 2021.
The Dolphins forfeited their own 2023 first-round selection and a third-round selection in the 2024 draft after an NFL investigation found that Miami violated the league’s anti-tampering policy regarding communication with Tom Brady.
That probe stemmed from former Dolphins coach Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the league and also resulted in the suspension of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who has since returned.
Chubb was the fifth overall pick in the 2018 draft, a key part of Denver’s stellar defense and a locker room leader, although some Broncos fans still smart over John Elway’s bypassing of Wyoming QB Josh Allen, who went two picks later to Buffalo.
Chubb has 5+ sacks this season – although none in the past three weeks – and a pair of forced fumbles after coming off his first fully healthy offseason since his rookie year when he had a career-best 12 sacks playing alongside Miller.
With the Broncos (3-5) off to a bad start under the Nathaniel Hackett-Russell Wilson coupling, Paton found more value in what he could get for Chubb in next April’s draft than in the production he’d get from the former North Carolina State star over the next nine games.
Chubb is making nearly $14 million on his fifth-year option this season.
Paton had traded away his first- and second-round picks this year and next in the blockbuster deal that brought Wilson over from Seattle last spring, and now the Broncos will have a first-round selection next year to help them build around Wilson.
Chubb said last week that the speculation he was a top trade target was “kind of cool,” in that “it lets you know that I’m playing good ball where other teams notice it as well.” But he added that he preferred to stay “in Denver long term. I’ve got my house. I got everything. I’m comfortable.”
Chubb’s career features almost as many missed games (25) as sacks (26).
He missed most of last season following surgeries on both ankles to remove bone spurs and didn’t have a single sack in seven games upon his return. He also missed most of 2019 with a torn ACL, but bounced back in 2020 with a Pro Bowl season.
Chubb’s departure comes at a time the Broncos are hurting in the pass rush department, although Randy Gregory (knee) and Baron Browning (wrist) might come off IR by the time the Broncos, who are on a bye, travel to Tennessee on Nov. 13.
Martin is a 26-year-old edge rusher who has 15 sacks, including including 1+ in eight games this season. The Jets signed him in March to a three-year deal worth up to $16.5 million.
Edmonds bolsters the Broncos’ running back room anchored by Melvin Gordon and Latavius Murray with Javonte Williams (knee) and Mike Boone (ankle) on IR.
Edmonds is a fifth-year pro who started a career-high 11 games for the Cardinals last season. In Miami this season, he rushed for 120 yards on 42 carries with two touchdowns and caught 10 passes for 96 yards and a score.