There is a growing sense that Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will be traded. What would this mean for the team going forward?
Demaryius Thomas remains a member of the Denver Broncos for now, but there seems to be a growing sense that he will be traded by the NFL’s trade deadline on October 30.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that Thomas was one player teams were asking around about, and it seems those rumors have only intensified in the past 24 hours.
Schefter appeared on 104.3 The FAN in Denver and said he wouldn’t be surprised if the nine-year veteran ended up on a different team before the month is over.
Thomas addressed the rumors with class and a joyful spirit as he always does, but he did acknowledge that his time in Denver was ‘coming up’.
If that’s the case and something is imminent with Thomas getting traded, let’s take a look at exactly what this would mean for the Broncos going forward.
For the Broncos to move on from Thomas, some team would have to take on the remainder of his salary this season which was $8.5 million. The Broncos have obviously been on the hook for the first seven games of the year plus his bonus money, so a team could get Thomas for the rest of 2018 for $5 million (10 weeks).
They will also be on the hook for $14 million of his $17.53 million in 2019.
That means the Broncos would save $14 million on next year’s cap, and also $5 million on this year’s cap. That’s part of the motivation to trade Thomas, a decision that would be off the table were it not for the fast development of Courtland Sutton who appears to be a star in the making.
Sutton played 26 of a possible 28 pass snaps against the Arizona Cardinals last Thursday, more than any other player besides Case Keenum and the offensive line.
This increase in usage may have been a sign of what is to come, though Thomas still made some significant plays in that game against Arizona, specifically a couple of big third-down plays.
So why trade Thomas now? Why not wait until the offseason? Well, Thomas’ value in the offseason is going to be virtually non-existent. He has value now because he can help a team not only next season but all of this season as well. If the Broncos don’t trade him before the deadline, teams will know that they have to cut him to create cap space.
There’s demand for his services right now, but next March, there will be a whole host of free agents and 2019 draft prospects for teams to upgrade their wide receiver position. It’s highly unlikely John Elway would be able to find a trade partner in the offseason given Thomas has just one year left on his deal after this season.
There are a wide variety of teams that could potentially be calling Denver for a trade including the Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts, or Washington Redskins.
With the Broncos set to rebuild their roster, Thomas deserves the chance at a fresh start and a chance to prove he can still play at a high level. He’s not been bad for the Broncos this season, but his production has declined over the past few seasons.
Thomas talked earlier this year about how he’s sensing the lack of appreciation from the fans, but he goes about his business as usual with a smile on his face.
If we’ve seen the last of Thomas in Denver, it’s been a truly incredible ride.