Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas would certainly be in high demand come March 10th if the Broncos don’t franchise tag him, but in all likelihood, he won’t have that opportunity. That’s not going to stop former Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker — and more importantly, Thomas’ best friend — from recruiting him to New York to play for the Jets.
“I’ve been pushing for the entire year now,” Decker said in a phone interview with The New York Post. “It was just another opportunity to talk to him about it. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.
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“I think it would be tough for Denver to let him go. So whether they franchise-tag him here in the next month or give him a long-term deal, he’s just one of those premier players in this league. If he happens to make it to free agency, I would love to sign him because playing alongside him for four years and especially the last two years made it a lot of fun and made it a lot easier. He’s just one of the great players in this league.”
Thomas is, without question the number one priority for the Broncos in terms of in-house free agents. He has expressed a desire to return to Denver and obviously the Broncos are going to try to make him happy. He has developed into one of what I believe to be the top five receivers in the NFL today. The fear is, at this point, if Thomas gets franchise tagged and a long-term deal is not reached, that he would simply leave after this season when most people expect Peyton Manning to retire.
If Thomas signs a long-term deal with Denver, it will show that he is truly loyal to the Broncos and it would be a great building block for the future for John Elway. However, receivers have proven to be a position that you don’t always have to invest heavily in to win a lot of football games. Take a look at the Seattle Seahawks the past two years. Heck, take a look at the New England Patriots as well.
Thomas is certain to command somewhere around $12-14 million per season, and the Broncos have to determine for the future of their team if it’s worth it to pay him something like that over the long term. Most fans would say yes because it’s a player we’ve grown to know and love, but to this point it’s been really economically responsible for the Broncos to have him on a rookie contract.
One thing is always true — money talks, and we’ll see how the Broncos and DT communicate this offseason.