Report: Peyton Manning Lobbying for Julius Thomas Return?


We already know that part of the hangup in the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning’s return to the team is whether or not he will take a pay cut or restructure his cap figure for 2015, but might there be more to the story?

More specifically, might Manning be putting on his general manager’s hat and trying to get the Broncos to bring back Julius Thomas, who already appears to have both feet out the door?

It’s certainly a fair question, and one that was posed as a potential reason why Manning might consider restructuring from Pro Football Talk.

“If/when Demaryius Thomas gets the tag, the stage will be set for tight end Julius Thomas to hit the market.  While many believe Julius is destined to no longer wear orange (yeah, I said it), quarterback Peyton Manning’s willingness to restructure possibly comes with a specific request to keep both Thomases around for 2015.

If that’s the directive, the smarter move could be to work out something with Demaryius Thomas before Monday, and then to use the franchise tag on Julius.”

More from Predominantly Orange

It would certainly make sense for Manning, at least. He knows Julius Thomas really well, and despite some shouting matches on the field, Julius has proven to be Manning’s security blanket in the red zone and there’s no doubt the Broncos were a better team offensively when he was at full strength.

If the Broncos somehow re-structure Manning and get a long-term deal done with Demaryius, the next logical step is to secure their next most valuable asset — which would be Julius Thomas — via the franchise tag. This is something we’ve written about before but never really considered as a real option.

And, to be frank, that is probably still the case.

The Broncos have about $28 million in projected cap space. They will need to use around $13 million of that to keep around Demaryius Thomas at the franchise tag price, which is fully guaranteed. If they can re-sign DT and re-structure Manning, their cap situation looks a lot better/different and they would be able to afford the franchise tag for Julius as well as a bunch of other free agents they might have their eyes on.

Manning and the Broncos need to focus on improving the offensive line one way or another, so bringing back DT and Julius doesn’t necessarily seem like priority No. 1 this offseason, but it may well be.

At least, if you ask No. 18.