Englewood, CO—The Denver Broncos have officially placed the “non-exclusive” franchise tag on Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. The “non-exclusive” tag means that other teams will be free to offer Thomas a contract that exceeds the $12.8M the franchise tag guarantees him, but the Broncos will have the opportunity to match. If the Broncos chose not to match, the competing team would have to relinquish two first round picks to acquire Thomas.
Thomas is coming off of three-consecutive seasons that saw him snag 90+ receptions, 1,400+ yards and double digit touchdowns. The Broncos want to keep him around, and the franchise tag also offers the benefit of buying the team time to continue negotiations on a long-term contract.
Here is Vice President of Football Operations and General Manger John Elway’s statement via the team.
“This is another step in our efforts to extend Demaryius’ contract and ensure he remains a Denver Bronco. We will continue working toward a long-term agreement with Demaryius, who is a very important part of our team.”
The Broncos are also reportedly working on restructuring quarterback Peyton Manning’s contract, in an effort to free up more space on the salary cap. A resolution is expected this week, as the deadline for Manning’s $19M guaranteed salary for 2015 is on March 9th.