No DT Extension? Not The End Of The World

Join MHH Analyst Khalid Alshami to find out why a failure to reach an extension with Demaryius Thomas would be okay.

Demaryius Thomas is clearly one of the top receivers in the NFL and should be paid like one. Fortunately for Thomas, the Denver Broncos have recognized this and have made a sizable offer of $12+ million that would make him the second-highest paid receiver in the NFL behind fellow Yellow Jacket Calvin Johnson.

For background's sake, I'd like to go over 'Megatrons' contract history and the difficult position it has put the Broncos in. When Johnson was drafted in 2007, he received a six-year $55.5 million contract with a $14 million signing bonus and $27.178 million in guarantees.

Are the Broncos better off without DT? SOUND OFF IN THE FORUMS!

In 2012, with free agency looming, the Detroit Lions scrambled to lock up Johnson and avoid paying him $25.2 million franchise tag cost in 2013, agreeing to a seven-year $113.45 million extension with a $16 million signing bonus and $46.755 million guaranteed. Johnson received this absurd contract due to his pre-rookie wage scale contract.

Facing a $25.2 million tag number was daunting for the Lions, something that made the extension look reasonable at the time. Johnson had all the leverage in his 2012 negotiations with the looming tag, but this year, in the case of Thomas, the team holds the leverage.

With the franchise tag, Thomas is set to make $12.83 million this season, a raise from the $3.275 million he made last season. If both sides fail to come to an agreement, Thomas can be tagged again in 2016 at $15.36 million for the season.

In the NFL, the year-to-year insecurity of the franchise tag is despised by players. Thomas can potentially suffer a career ending injury this year and fail to sign another contract. He could potentially see his numbers drop with a new run-friendly offense and a possibly age-regressing Peyton Manning, in which case a contract to make him the second-highest paid receiver would make little sense. Thomas has all the motivation in the world to get a deal done today, while the Broncos are more than content with waiting Thomas out.

Denver has Emmanuel Sanders and a young Cody Latimer at the receiver position, both of whom fit well in Gary Kubiak's offense. In 2016, in addition to Thomas and Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Josh Gordon, T.Y. Hilton and Alshon Jeffery headline a deep free agent receiver class. For Denver there will be no shortage of options to replace Thomas, should he leave.

Due to the contract Johnson received, the Thomas camp has set that as the baseline for negotiations. Thomas is the kind of player that wants to bring his family together and make sure they are taken care of, something he opened up about during an interview with Eli Saslow, saying he wanted to buy a plot of land in Atlanta where he can build one or two homes for his family.

So the contract desired by Demaryius is not built on greed, but a desire to unite his family and care for them—very admirable, but something that does not change the business side of things.

More Broncos Stories

An argument can be made that Thomas deserves to be the highest paid receiver in the NFL. An even stronger argument can be made that the highest paid receiver in the NFL should make between $12-13 million, figures the Broncos have been willing to exceed in a Thomas extension, including $40+ million in guarantees.

It all leads back to the absence of a rookie wage scale, prior to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and the ridiculous amount of money Johnson has made as a result.

Thanks Megatron, you've ruined everything for Optimus Prime... again.

Khalid Alshami is an Analyst for MileHighHuddle.com. You can find him on Twitter @Kalshami_MHH.

Follow MileHighHuddle on Twitter @MileHighHuddle and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and discounted Broncos tickets and merchandise.


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Demaryius Thomas is clearly one of the top receivers in the NFL and should be paid like one. Fortunately for Thomas, the Denver Broncos have recognized this and have made a sizable offer of $12+ million that would make him the second-highest paid receiver in the NFL behind fellow Yellow Jacket Calvin Johnson.

For background's sake, I'd like to go over 'Megatrons' contract history and the difficult position it has put the Broncos in. When Johnson was drafted in 2007, he received a six-year $55.5 million contract with a $14 million signing bonus and $27.178 million in guarantees.

[MEDIA:1473123]Are the Broncos better off without DT? SOUND OFF IN THE FORUMS!

In 2012, with free agency looming, the Detroit Lions scrambled to lock up Johnson and avoid paying him $25.2 million franchise tag cost in 2013, agreeing to a seven-year $113.45 million extension with a $16 million signing bonus and $46.755 million guaranteed. Johnson received this absurd contract due to his pre-rookie wage scale contract.

Facing a $25.2 million tag number was daunting for the Lions, something that made the extension look reasonable at the time. Johnson had all the leverage in his 2012 negotiations with the looming tag, but this year, in the case of Thomas, the team holds the leverage.

With the franchise tag, Thomas is set to make $12.83 million this season, a raise from the $3.275 million he made last season. If both sides fail to come to an agreement, Thomas can be tagged again in 2016 at $15.36 million for the season.

In the NFL, the year-to-year insecurity of the franchise tag is despised by players. Thomas can potentially suffer a career ending injury this year and fail to sign another contract. He could potentially see his numbers drop with a new run-friendly offense and a possibly age-regressing Peyton Manning, in which case a contract to make him the second-highest paid receiver would make little sense. Thomas has all the motivation in the world to get a deal done today, while the Broncos are more than content with waiting Thomas out.

Denver has Emmanuel Sanders and a young Cody Latimer at the receiver position, both of whom fit well in Gary Kubiak's offense. In 2016, in addition to Thomas and Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Josh Gordon, T.Y. Hilton and Alshon Jeffery headline a deep free agent receiver class. For Denver there will be no shortage of options to replace Thomas, should he leave.

Due to the contract Johnson received, the Thomas camp has set that as the baseline for negotiations. Thomas is the kind of player that wants to bring his family together and make sure they are taken care of, something he opened up about during an interview with Eli Saslow, saying he wanted to buy a plot of land in Atlanta where he can build one or two homes for his family.

So the contract desired by Demaryius is not built on greed, but a desire to unite his family and care for them—very admirable, but something that does not change the business side of things.

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More Broncos Stories
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An argument can be made that Thomas deserves to be the highest paid receiver in the NFL. An even stronger argument can be made that the highest paid receiver in the NFL should make between $12-13 million, figures the Broncos have been willing to exceed in a Thomas extension, including $40+ million in guarantees.

It all leads back to the absence of a rookie wage scale, prior to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and the ridiculous amount of money Johnson has made as a result.

Thanks Megatron, you've ruined everything for Optimus Prime... again.

Khalid Alshami is an Analyst for MileHighHuddle.com. You can find him on Twitter @Kalshami_MHH.

Follow MileHighHuddle on Twitter @MileHighHuddle and become a subscriber to receive access to premium content and discounted Broncos tickets and merchandise.

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