Denver Broncos Demaryius Thomas Rumors: 'Calvin Johnson Money' Will End Holdout, John Elway Doesn't Want To Pay Up?
Talks between the Denver Broncos and star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas are at a standstill right now, and it's because Thomas wants to be paid like the best pass-catcher in the NFL.
According to Troy E. Penck of The Denver Post, Thomas wants "Calvin Johnson money." Johnson is signed to a seven-year, $113 million deal through 2019 that carries $48 million in guaranteed money and had a $16 million signing bonus. Thomas was franchise tagged this offseason, and should he sign the tender and play under it in 2015, he will make $12.82 million.
Thomas had the best year of his career in 2014, hauling in 111 passes for 1,619 yards and 11 scores. He has caught at least 94 passes, exceeded 1,000 yards and registered double-digit touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. This year Thomas may be in line for even more production after red zone threat tight end Julius Thomas departed in free agency for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Penck also noted the uncertainty of quarterback Peyton Manning's future in Denver as a reason to hold off. Thomas has proven he can produce with any level of quarterback, but his numbers truly took off with Manning at the helm. If Manning is in his final season, the Broncos may switch gears and lean on new head coach Gary Kubiak's run-blocking scheme as the focal point of the offense, and not Thomas in the passing game.
If Thomas plays under the tag this year, and then is franchise tagged next season for $15 million, Denver will have sunk $28 million of guaranteed money into him, which is not far out of line from what he is seeking on a long-term deal. Denver is in no rush, and as Penck noted, they may monitor Dez Bryant's situation in Dallas as a way of establishing the market.
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