Broncos’ coach Sean Payton in no hurry to name a starting QB

Denver Broncos coach Sean Payton is in no hurry to name a starting quarterback.

The first game is still three months away and he still needs to study a QB room that includes journeyman Jarrett Stidham, rookie Bo Nix and recently acquired Zach Wilson.

But the question keeps coming — who is your quarterback, coach?

“Here we go again,” Payton said with a laugh at Tuesday’s minicamp session. “I don’t have a date, I have a gut (feeling).”

Stidham has the edge in June as the lone one of the three quarterbacks to be with Denver last season. Soon to turn 28, Stidham threw 66 passes while getting a year of the Payton system under his belt.

“He’s doing well,” Payton said of Stidham. “Clearly, within the framework within what we’re doing, he is much further along than in Year 1 in the transition. I’d say he’s looked really sharp during this offseason program.

“(He is) real decisive. I think the leadership he is able to provide there, and there’s good competition.”

The Broncos released Russell Wilson in March after two seasons, necessitating the club to look for a potential franchise quarterback.

Nix could fit the bill after the Broncos took him with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2024 draft. He had eye-popping numbers at Oregon last season — completing 77.4 percent of his passes for 4,508 yards, 45 touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Broncos acquired Zach Wilson shortly before the draft. He was the No. 2 overall pick by the New York Jets in 2021 and didn’t pan out. He got a second chance last season when Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles on the fourth snap of the season and it again didn’t go well.

Zach Wilson played 12 in games last season, starting 11. He completed 60.1 percent of his passes for 2,271 yards and eight touchdowns with seven interceptions. He also ran for seven scores, but the Jets were 4-7 in his starts.

Payton isn’t concerned about the situation. He is confident the right player will emerge.

“I think when we get into training camp and when we get into the preseason games, I think oftentimes the decisions take care of themselves,” Payton said. “But the object is to win. I understand the question, but in our league it’s year-to-year. We’re competing to win this year, and we’re going to make the right decision relative to who gives us that opportunity.”

Receiver Courtland Sutton showed up to the mandatory minicamp after skipping OTAs and other voluntary activities. His absence was believed to be over dissatisfaction with his contract, but he told reporters Tuesday he underwent ankle surgery in the offseason.

Sutton is entering the third season of a four-year, $60.8 million deal. He is slated to receive $13 million in base salary in 2024.

Sutton did brief work in individual drills but didn’t participate in team drills.

Sutton terms his situation with the Broncos as “a stalemate” and wouldn’t guarantee that he’ll show for training camp in late July if there still isn’t a resolution.

“My team and I have been in contact with the guys upstairs that handle all of that stuff,” Sutton said. “We’ve kind of been going back and forth to find the best way to kind of find the middle ground of the situation. We are at a stalemate in a sense, but I have confidence and faith the right thing will be done.”

Sutton, 28, has 298 receptions for 4,259 yards and 24 touchdown catches in 81 games (69 starts) for Denver. He caught a career-best 10 scoring passes last season to go with 59 catches and 772 yards.