Denver May Have to Lose Demaryius Thomas


The Denver Broncos have been negotiating with Demaryius Thomas for months, and they still don’t have an agreement on a long-term deal. Thomas is currently sitting on the franchise tag, though he hasn’t signed it yet.

The tough truth for Broncos fans is that the team may just have to part ways with the star wideout. It’s looking like there’s no other way out of this.

Rumor has it that Demaryius Thomas has asked the Broncos to be paid like Detroit’s Calvin Johnson. He has one of the largest contracts of all time, at about $16 million per season.

He’s (maybe) worth it. Thomas isn’t.

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It’s just the eye test, in a lot of ways. Johnson is a player who transcends the game, while Thomas is a player who plays it very well. That may seem like a small distinction, but it’s important.

Thomas has great speed and an excellent sense of the game. He can run good routes, and he knows how to break big plays when things line up. Though he has been criticized for some drops, he’s been pretty consistent—from a stats perspective—since he took over the starting job. He’s a great wideout playing in a great system and putting up great stats.

Calvin Johnson is a freak. He makes plays when things break down. Against the Cincinnati Bengals, down by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, Matthew Stafford just aired it out when the pocket dissolved. He threw it fifty yards while getting hit, a bomb to Johnson with three defenders right on him.

Johnson went up in that crowd and came down with the ball, all three defensive backs looking at each other in disbelief.

It’s not a play Demaryius Thomas could make. It’s the type of play that earns you $16 million.

If Thomas is dead set on being paid at that level, the Broncos may realistically be better off to let him go. They can find another wideout or hope for development from Cody Latimer, getting nice stats for far less money.

No, they may not get the exact stats Thomas put up. But if they can get a wideout who will break 1,000 yards for, say, $10 million, that’s better than paying Thomas $16 million. Breaking the bank for one wideout just doesn’t make sense unless he’s the very best in the game.

Plus, Denver has to look at the big picture. They have to trust the running game and stay strong in other areas. The Broncos can’t let one contract to Thomas hamstring the team for the next five years.