Thomas Signs with the Denver Broncos: 5 Years, $70 Million


It went down to the wire, but Demaryius Thomas signed a long-term contract with the Denver Broncos just before the deadline. He’ll get $70 million over the next five years, averaging him out right around $14 million per year. A full $43.5 million of that is guaranteed.

The deal is almost identical to the one given to Dez Bryant by the Dallas Cowboys. His came down just shortly before Thomas’, locking up both first-round wideouts from the same draft for the long term.

The real winner of the day: Todd France. He’s the agent representing both Thomas and Bryant. He made out like a bandit with two huge contracts signed within hours of each other.

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There’s an old saying that you know if a deal is fair if both sides are unhappy with it. This looks to absolutely be the case for the Broncos and Thomas. Denver didn’t want to pay this much, initially offering around $12 million. Thomas didn’t want to get this little, initially asking for $16 million.

The two met in the middle, right at $14 million. They both gave a bit and where able to get things worked out. Thomas will be happy, one of the top-paid wideouts in the league, and the Broncos can be glad they didn’t have to touch the ridiculous contract Detroit gave to Calvin Johnson.

The biggest thing about this is that Thomas is now set up to be the future in Denver. He’ll be one of the faces of the franchise. Peyton Manning only has two years left on his contract, but Thomas is going to be here through the end of the Manning era and into the next iteration of the team, as Gary Kubiak reworks everything around his own ideas.

In that sense, this is a great move. It provides stability, it gives Denver an explosive playmaker, and it ensures that the next quarterback will have a reliable target from day one.

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There are issues with giving so much to a wideout. The Broncos still have to sign Von Miller to a big deal next year—or they’ll go through this whole song and dance again.

However, those issues are somewhat overstated. DeMarcus Ware only has a single year left on his contract after this upcoming season, and he’d clear significant cap space—his cap hit is right around $12 million—that could be used on Miller. Plus, Shane Ray could step up and fill that role as a premier edge pass rusher. If he pans out well, Denver could afford Miller without taking too much of a hit on the defensive line thanks to this year’s draft.

But those are long-term issues. For now, the focus has to be on getting Thomas to camp so he can catch up with his new coach and learn the scheme. He’s not going to miss any games, and he’ll give Denver’s offense the teeth it needs to really compete this year. He’s on for the long-term, but the short-term impact is also huge, and it promises to be another exciting season in Denver.

Next: Collusion Rumors Swirl around the Denver Broncos' Demaryius Thomas