The Denver Broncos reportedly are sending Demaryius Thomas to the Houston Texans. What impact does that have on Courtland Sutton and others?
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Denver Broncos are closing in on a trade that would send wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Houston Texans in exchange for a mid-round draft pick.
Thomas has been with the Denver Broncos since 2010 when he was a first-round draft choice out of Georgia Tech, and has since become one of the most productive wide receivers in team history.
The Broncos are trading Thomas to the team they play this coming Sunday. Here’s Rap Sheet’s initial report.
When we get some more time, we’re going to take an appropriate look back on Thomas’ career in Denver and just what he meant to the team while he was with them, but right now, the most significant impact this move has on the Denver Broncos is with Courtland Sutton bumping up the depth chart.
Sutton has been phenomenal for the Broncos as a rookie, especially in the big play department.
He had a career-high 78 yards receiving against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and has his first two NFL touchdown catches over the course of the past month.
The Broncos knew it was going to be a matter of time before Sutton started eating up more snaps, and with a demand for Thomas’ services, it made sense to move on now and free up $19 million (roughly) in cap space between 2018 and 2019.
For Sutton, this means significantly increased responsibility. The Broncos will also likely ramp up the snaps for fellow rookie DaeSean Hamilton, who has been injured since the Arizona game with a knee injury and who could come back as early as this week against Houston.
While the initial reasonable reaction is to be upset, this trade makes way too much sense for the Broncos (and the Texans, for that matter) at this particular point in time.
Thomas will be 31 in December and counts over $17 million against the 2019 cap. The Broncos will have to pay a portion of that cap hit so they are not completely off the hook here, but the Texans will absorb the majority of it and get Thomas on a discount this season.
They just lost Will Fuller to injury, so they needed someone to be a viable threat opposite DeAndre Hopkins.
Sutton, meanwhile, has carved out a prominent role for himself in Denver. Thomas was getting about 5-7 targets on any given week, while Sutton was getting between 4-6. Those targets should go up, and if Sutton continues playing at the level we’ve seen from him so far, there’s no doubt he’s going to emerge over the course of the rest of this season as a star.