The Denver Broncos and General Manager John Elway took some heat in the offseason for letting so many key players from 2013 leave via free agency without putting up much of a fight. The truth, and sometimes the truth hurts, is that Elway believed that the Broncos could withstand the loss of Eric Decker, Champ Bailey, Knowshon Moreno, Zane Beadles and so on.
The other truth is that if Elway believes a player is a crucial piece to the Broncos, both now and in the future then he will do everything in his power to keep them in orange and blue. He did it with a long-term deal for left tackle, Ryan Clady last year and now Elway is trying to lock up both Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas.
According to multiple sources including The Denver Post, the Broncos have opened contract talks with both players and have made an initial offer to D. Thomas. That offer is for five years but no financial information of the offer has been disclosed.
Elway has also stated that the Broncos would like to get both deals done before training camp if possible, and they will not negotiate once the season starts.
D. Thomas has emerged as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and is Peyton Manning’s favorite target. He is a mismatch no matter who opposing defenses try to cover him with. D. Thomas is too big for most cornerbacks and far too fast for safeties and linebackers.
In the disaster that was the Super Bowl, D. Thomas was the only Bronco who stood out. He set a Super Bowl record with 13 receptions and had the Broncos only touchdown of the day. He did all of that with a separated shoulder and while being covered by all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman for parts of the game.
J. Thomas had a breakout season in 2013 and is now considered one of the league’s premier tight-ends. Like the other Thomas, J. Thomas is a matchup nightmare for defenses. Most tight-ends can be covered with a linebacker or safety but not J. Thomas; he is too fast for most of them. Cornerbacks struggle to cover him because of his size and his ability to go up high in jump ball situations.
By themselves the two are a handful, together they are almost unstoppable. With the exception of the Seattle Seahawks, teams just do not have enough secondary talent to match up with both of them at the same time. They can double one but then the other one has single coverage and even if defenses do manage to double both of them, the Broncos have other weapons to utilize.
There’s a myth portrayed by some that the Broncos are unwilling to pay the price to keep their own players, but it’s simply not true. If a player proves that they are a key part of the long-term plan, then the Broncos will reward that talent.
It remains to be seen if these deals can be completed in the next few weeks but make no mistake; Elway wants both to be Broncos for a very long time.