When Josh McDaniels made Demaryius Thomas the Denver Broncos’ 22nd pick in the 2010 NFL draft, fans were uncertain.
The Georgia Tech wideout had just earned all-ACC honors but we don’t get a lot of ACC news in Denver Broncos land, so DT was a mystery.
His inauspicious beginning with the Denver Broncos has now been matched by his unceremonious end. Reports are that Thomas has been packaged with Denver’s seventh-round pick in 2019 for a fourth- and seventh-round pick from the Texans.
We are beaten over the head with a phrase in sports: “It’s just business”. John Elway mentioned something about Courtland Sutton and then made a half-assed proclamation about how the Broncos just wouldn’t have taken less than a fourth for Thomas.
A fourth round pick for the best receiver in Denver history. Apologies to Rod Smith but it’s really not even close. There’s little logic to the move other than Elway needing to flex something. Denver saves $4 million in cap space ($14 million next year). Presumably, Sutton will now get more opportunity though it’s hard to see how Thomas was denying Sutton touches.
Thomas, 30 joins DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson in Houston, we can hope it’s an opportunity for DT to get back on the winning side of things. In an interesting twist of fate, the Broncos host the Texans on Sunday. Here’s hoping the crowd expresses the appreciation for Thomas that the organization would not.
Yes, it’s a business but on the heels of miserable decisions regarding T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib, it’s hard to see that any needs were met for the Broncos. They are now thinner at WR. That’s all that happened.
The Broncos had two fourth round picks in this year’s draft. They selected Josey Jewell and DaeSean Hamilton. Neither looks on track to match Thomas’ five pro-bowl appearances and SB50 win. Neither has made a play as spectacular or as dear to Bronco fan’s hearts as the 80-yard Tim Tebow overtime strike to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to open the 2012 playoffs. The play is legendary and virtually assures Thomas a spot in the ring of fame.
It bears mentioning again that the Broncos have sorely missed owner Pat Bowlen’s leadership. In Mr. B’s absence, John Elway has made terrible personnel decisions (minus Manning). He’s had awful draft classes until this season and even this one has been overestimated. Phillip Lindsay is a gem but he was not drafted by Denver. Bradley Chubb is rounding into form, as expected. Sutton, Jewell, Hamilton, Isaac Yiadom and Royce Freeman have had a lot of buzz but have produced little.
As we watch DT ride into the sunset, we can’t help but wonder if the mystique of the Broncos franchise isn’t riding off with him. Thomas will be missed.