Klis was careful to point out that no one within the Broncos organization would confirm or deny the details in his story. On Demaryius Thomas:
Demaryius Thomas is playing this season on a $3.275 million salary, the final year of his contract. The Broncos would not discuss specifics for this story - Elway, the team's general manager, refused comment - but an NFL source said the Broncos offered Demaryius Thomas a contract beyond Percy Harvin's $12.85 million annual average but less than the $16 million-a-year deals of the two highest-paid receivers: Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.
On Julius Thomas:
Julius Thomas is demonstrating the guts of a mailman attempting to deliver past a chained pit bull by leaving millions of dollars on the table. A fourth-round pick in 2011, Thomas is playing on a $645,000 salary, the most he has made in his four years.
With Jimmy Graham the NFL's highest-paid tight end at $10 million a year, Rob Gronkowski next at $9 million and Jason Witten third at $7.4 million, Thomas' offer is between $7.5 million and $8.5 million a year, according to another NFL source.
Before going further, please understand we're not sure about the details of the offer.
As a fanbase however, we have a better idea of what it is going to take to resign both players. For Demaryius, it is going to take somewhere between 13-16 million dollars per season. With Julius Thomas it will take about 8-9 million per season. It has always been my contention that the Broncos should franchise tag Julius Thomas. But if we're talking about Demaryius Thomas hitting the open market for a bidding war, I'd much rather tag Demaryius and proceed from there.
Demaryius has earned it. He's a rare breed of WR that can succeed under any circumstances. He has excelled in a run-first offense, a pass-first offense, a short-screen heavy offense, and a chunk/deep ball offense. He has produced under Tim Tebow, Kyle Orton, and now Peyton Manning, and he's faced all the drama surrounding the team throughout the years with class, humility, and a smile. He's a quiet leader, someone who leads through effort, not boast. He's worth it.
Julius Thomas is in my opinion a great redzone weapon. One of the best, in fact. But he doesn't strain the seams or the post like Jimmy Graham. I can expect an occasional catch or two, or even a nice chain mover on 3rd down, but until Jullius reaches the redzone, his impact can be minimal. Perhaps it's the design of the offense or the tendencies of a playcaller. He also struggles with run-blocking--something that showed a bit of improvement this past week. It is fair to say that Julius is still a bit rough while Demaryius is becoming a superstar.
All things being equal, there are different ways the Broncos could go in order to get very good production from the TE position--Jacob Tamme and Joel Dressen proved so in 2012. Will it be the sort of production that Julius brings? Presumably not, but you could afford a slight drop off from this position without drastically changing the make-up of your offense.
The Broncos are a better team with BOTH Thomases on offense. Whether or not their bank account can afford to keep them on the same team remains to be seen.
We will have both at our disposal against NE and hopefully for the rest of the season. Might as well go out and win a ring now, what do you think?