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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In the weeks leading up to the NFL draft the Denver Broncos‘ decision-makers kept saying how much they believed in wide receiver Jerry Jeudy‘s potential.

Monday, the team formally showed that by picking up Jeudy’s fifth-year option. Jeudy, who was the Broncos’ first-round pick in 2020, is now signed through the 2024 season.

Jeudy will earn $12.98 million in 2024, which will be the fifth and final year of his rookie deal.

The move was expected even though a week before the draft Broncos general manager George Paton wouldn’t yet say if the team was going to engage the fifth-year option. But he did day “we’re high, really high, on Jerry … we like Jerry, he’s going to be here.”

The Broncos did use their opening pick of this past weekend’s draft — No. 63 overall — on a wide receiver in Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims Jr., but Paton said the selection was made simply because Mims was the best choice on the draft board at the point.

“It has nothing to do with any of our receivers,” Paton said.

Coach Sean Payton said at the owner’s meetings in March the Broncos were going to rebuff the interest some teams had expressed in acquiring Jeudy in a trade earlier this offseason.

Jeudy, who multiple opposing players and coaches have characterized as an elite route runner, finished last season in a flourish. When he returned from an ankle injury in December he had 523 yards receiving over the final six games of the season.

That six-game run also included Jeudy’s first career three-touchdown game — Dec. 11 against Kansas City — to go with a five-catch, 154-yard effort in the season finale against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Jeudy missed seven games in 2021 with injuries and two missed two more last season, but he was the only wide receiver on the team who finished with more than two touchdown catches.

Jeudy had six in an offense that routinely struggled to score and finished the year as the league’s lowest scoring offense at 16.9 points per game.

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Broncos pick up WR Jerry Jeudy’s 5th-year rookie option