Regardless of how overpowering Thomas may be on the field, the Broncos will catch him in the game of franchise tag Monday, and he will be "it" in a bargaining move that all but ensures the team of retaining their star wide receiver for the 2015 season.
Specifically, the Broncos are expected to use the "nonexclusive" tag on Thomas. The team could have used the "exclusive" tag that would have prohibited the player from negotiating with other NFL teams.
Broncos will place their franchise tag of WR Demaryius Thomas before today's 4 ET deadline.
After the Broncos designate a $12.8 million franchise tag to their own free-agent receiver Demaryius Thomas on Monday, the team will have approximately $13 million of payroll cap room. This should spell the end of Julius Thomas' Denver Broncos career. A rival AFC West team has $60 million available in salary cap room. That would be the Oakland Raiders who are coached by former Broncos' defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio.
Julius Thomas became the first tight end in NFL history with at least 12 touchdowns in back-to-back years. Plans are already underway to replace him, however. The Denver Broncos have targeted Cleveland Browns' Jordan Cameron, Baltimore Ravens' Owen Daniels or Miami Dolphins' Charles Clay as his replacement.
Denver Broncos' President John Elway has signed 27 full- or part-time starters from the past four free-agent periods. WR DeMaryius Thomas would be the most sought after free agent if he were allowed to hit the open market. There is not a chance that this will happen. The franchise tag for Demaryius Thomas will buy the Broncos some valuable time to straighten out the Peyton Manning contract renewal, and fill the holes vacated by S Rahim Moore, OG Orlando Franklin and DT Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton.
There is a theory that Broncos' President John Elway learned his long-lasting philosophy on spending from New York Yankees' owner, George Steinbrenner. John was a minor league outfielder for the Yankees who used his two sport leverage to force a pre-draft trade from the Baltimore Colts to the Denver Broncos.
"Money talks." DeMaryius Thomas will have plenty of it, soon. He just might have to wait a little bit.
Paul Murphy is a freelance writer from New Hampshire.