Broncos Will Franchise Tag WR Demaryius Thomas


Well, it’s almost official, because Adam Schefter said it: The Denver Broncos will franchise tag Demaryius Thomas prior to Monday’s 4 PM ET deadline.

Thomas will eventually either sign a long-term contract with the Broncos or a one-year deal that will be worth around $13 million. That will count directly against the Broncos’ cap space for the 2014 season.

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The tag has been long-rumored for DT, who is one of the Broncos’ best offensive weapons, if not the best one. They certainly think so, as they are preparing to pay him big money for this coming season as quarterback Peyton Manning prepares for what could be his last.

This will start a process for Thomas and the Broncos that everyone hopes will lead to a long-term extension eventually, but as we’ll continue to discuss, the Broncos have other options and the fans might not necessarily like it.

Thomas reportedly already turned down a contract worth $13 million annually from the Broncos, and is seeking a larger deal in excess of $15 million per year, according to the same report. That is, if true, a real problem for the Broncos moving forward.

It was never a foregone conclusion that the Broncos would tag DT, but it became more and more apparent in recent days as a long-term contract could not be agreed upon. The Broncos have a lot of needs this offseason, so they needed to get something with Thomas done early so they could know what they had to work with starting this weekend when teams and player reps can negotiate.

The Broncos are expected to place the ‘nonexclusive’ franchise tag on DT, which means he can still negotiate with other teams. His return to the Broncos is all but guaranteed, but it’s not a 100 percent certainty. Close, but not completely.

Keep your eyes on Predominantly Orange, we’ll have more on this story as the day progresses.