KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 13: Defensive tackle Marcus Thomas #79 of the Denver Broncos pressures quarterback Matt Cassel #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half on November 13, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Denver defeated Kansas City 17-10. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
It's no secret that the Broncos are thin at defensive line - in terms of depth, anyway. The team addressed some of that last week when they announced the signing of Justin Bannan. Then, this morning, it was reported that the Broncos had informed Ryan McBean that he was to be released, putting the team right back in the precarious situation they were in before the Bannan signing.
That leaves a big question mark surrounding Marcus Thomas. The Broncos and Thomas have been pretty quiet regarding his status, though it appears the team and player still hold out hope they could stick together.
According to Josina Anderson of ESPN, Thomas and the Broncos are at odds over the length of a contract:
A source with knowledge of the situation says the Denver Broncos have tried to negotiate a one-year deal for veteran DT Marcus Thomas However, the source adds Marcus Thomas is focused on receiving a long-term deal. That is the sticking point right now.— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 16, 2012
However, the source adds Marcus Thomas is focused on receiving a long-term deal. That is the sticking point right now. #Broncos— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 16, 2012
This is one of those situations where it's hard to argue with either side's position. Thomas hasn't proven himself to be a player that deserves a long-term deal - not yet anyway - while Thomas knows that he only has so many opportunities to get long-term financial stability.
So where does it all end? Probably when it comes time for Thomas to begin collecting a paycheck. If another team steps up after the draft to give Thomas some long-term stability he'll be gone. If the phone remains silent at the Thomas household, the Broncos likely give Thomas the best chance at extended playing time.
For me, I suggest offering Thomas a 2-year deal and move forward. Thomas plays with emotion and is a valuable contributor to a defensive line rotation.