Glendale, AZ -- As part of NFL Network's Friday Super Bowl week programming, host Chris Rose and analysts Terrell Davis and Daniel Jeremiah welcomed Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas who had several insights on the 2014 Broncos season that was.
In fielding questions from former Broncos star tailback Davis, who addressed the Broncos' squad in 2014 training camp about what went wrong, Thomas was candid in saying the team had the talent but "failed to get the job done" in no specific terms.
In reading between the lines, it's reasonable to suggest that former head coach John Fox did a poor job in preparing the squad, something that new head coach Gary Kubiak will reportedly not have issues with, per Vice President of Football Operations John Elway.
Thomas, who by his own admission during the interview, has the rare distinction of competing in both the NCAA men's basketball tournament (as an undergrad at Portland State) and the Super Bowl, addressed their questions, among which was an inquiry about if he'd like to return to the Broncos.
Thomas responded by saying a lot of it depends upon whether or not Broncos legendary signal-caller Peyton Manning returns in 2015. As was mentioned by MHH Lead Analyst Chad Jensen in an article published early on Friday, Manning is uncertain as to whether or not he wants to return for another season.
In a prescient March 2014 article published on cbssports.com, former sports agent Joel Corry suggested that Thomas could command a long-term deal “in excess of the five-year $35 million deal” the Broncos previously offered Thomas, on the open market.
With the Broncos having lots of big contracts to handle at the advent of the new league year March 10th, Thomas (1,282 receiving yards and 24 TD's in two full seasons of work) may be allowed to depart in free agency especially if the price is too high for Elway's tastes.
Furthermore, as was shown in the Week 17 47-14 rout of the Oakland Raiders, reserve tight end Virgil Green has skills and a penchant for solid hands. Although Green, a soon-to-be fifth year veteran out of Nevada, has only 23 career catches, they have come on 29 targets. In other words, Green catches 79.3% of the passes thrown his way -- an insanely productive ratio.
Incidentally, Green is also slated to be a potential unrestricted free agent as of March, so it will be interesting to see which way the Broncos choose to go. In short, Green seems to be able to do everything in the passing game that Thomas can and is also a better blocker but with the decision resting in Elway's hands, the Broncos could be in worse circumstances.