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Broncos’ Jerry Jeudy responds to ex-NFL player Steve Smith’s criticism: ‘I’m still going to be me’

The Denver Broncos are in the midst of a second consecutive disappointing season. The team is 1-5 and currently in last place in the AFC West.

The team appears to be in sale mode and recently decided to trade Randy Gregory and parted ways with linebacker Frank Clark. Meanwhile, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton have also been linked to trade rumors. 

The Broncos are coming off a 19-8 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, but before the game, All-Pro wide receiver and current NFL Network analyst Steve Smith Sr. had an awkward exchange with Jeudy. Smith, who has been critical of the Broncos wideout in the past, described Jeudy as merely an average player.


Jerry Jeudy warms up before a Broncos game

Jerry Jeudy of the Denver Broncos warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on October 12, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri. (Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

“So, I’ll say it again. I’m sorry I said that you were JAG — just a guy — who’s an average wide receiver they used a first-round pick on that isn’t doing anything,” Smith said. “I hope today that you actually show up in the way you haven’t showed up in the last couple years since they drafted you,” Smith said.

“I’m sorry for saying you’re an average wide receiver that they eventually will move on [from], and when teams call me and ask should they trade for you, I will say, ‘No, don’t trade for Jerry Jeudy because he is mentally unable to handle constructive criticism from people who watch specifically [if he can] be a wide receiver. He can be a wide receiver. He’s a tier 3.'”


Smith said he wanted to apologize to Jeudy prior to last Thursday’s kickoff, but he said Jeudy told him, “‘I don’t mess with you.'”

Jerry Jeudy looks on field

Jerry Jeudy of the Denver Broncos warms up against the Indianapolis Colts at Empower Field at Mile High on October 6, 2022, in Denver. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

But Jeudy has now provided his own version of events.

The 24-year-old receiver suggested that he was not aware Smith was attempting to apologize. But Jeudy did note that he was not going to be welcoming to Smith due to his past criticism.

“If he says he came to apologize to me, I would understand that, and I would have listened to what he had to say. Where I’m from, if somebody talks bad about you, you don’t go to them in person and try to act friendly towards them like you didn’t just talk bad about him. I don’t got no hate toward Steve Smith, he was a good player and all that stuff like that, I just stand on what I stand on,” Jeudy told reporters in the locker room on Thursday.

Broncos player Jerry Jeudy warms up

Jerry Jeudy of the Denver Broncos warms up prior to the start of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on December 27, 2020, in Inglewood, California. (Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

The former Alabama football standout added that he has become adept at ignoring the outside noise.

“I block all that out, man,” Jeudy said. “I know how my coaches feel about me. I know how my teammates feel about me. All these people that got their opinions are outsiders that have never been in the locker room, never seen me practice, never seen how this s–t really operates, so everybody that’s outside, I just ignore them because they don’t know what really be going on for real.”


Jeudy was the No. 15 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He has 2,517 career receiving yards and nine touchdowns over 46 games.

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