In yesterday's Horse Tracks, we highlighted comments a Broncos player supposedly made to Brandon Spano questioning Julius Thomas' toughness and loyalty to the team.
It seemed plausible given Thomas' lack of production the last half of the season. But it was still an anonymous "he said" story that we passed along for discussion, asking MHR whether this seemed true. Most jumped on the "bye-bye Julius" bandwagon.
One commenter offered perhaps an inside perspective - a comment from Greg Thomas, who is possibly JT's father.
Greg Thomas - known as lethylg on MHR and @lethylg60 on Twitter - is a former college football player from the University of the Pacific who has been defending Julius Thomas on MHR and social media in recent weeks (*editor's note: we have reached out to Greg Thomas to confirm whether he is JT's father and to comment on JT's situation with the Broncos.)
In a 2013 USA Today article on Julius, Jeffrey Martin writes JT's father is Greg Thomas, a former college player for three seasons at the University of Pacific. And this tweet from @lethylg certainly makes it a plausible connection:
@BobHighfill Extremely proud of both. Seahawks tried to trade Harvin for him. Pete could end up coaching father and son.— Greg Thomas (@lethylg60) January 31, 2015
If this is JT's father, his comments yesterday on MHR are worth highlighting again but also noting that even his insight is still not necessarily the case.
Thomas specifically took issue with the fact that his son had said anything to any player:
"Just a little Truth:
1. Julius Thomas has not confided in any of his Teamates his intentions, desires or goals related to football. He's only close to two NFL players and that's Knoshown Moreno and Virgil Green. Knowshon was hated by Elway and Peyton. You see how he got screwed by the Broncos."
Greg Thomas is also clearly no fan of John Elway as he bemoaned the contract negotiations between Elway and Julius. He stated that neither Julius nor JT's agent " ever made a statement about demanding to be paid like anyone else."
"5. The Broncos offered him a piss poor contract before the season. Then said they don't negotiate after camp starts. Then during camp and during the season they offered him piss poor contracts with no guarantees. Then he is expected to take a chance on ruining his ankle to please people who haven't shown him any loyalty? Really?"
And he defended JT's injury status, saying John Fox "begged him to play when they knew his ankle was hurt so they could keep defenses honest" and that Elway would have "dropped him like a piece of rotten meat" if he had destroyed his ankle while taking one for the team.
"Last I checked this was a business. ...Go get paid young man, go get paid. It's only in America where people want to destroy another man sport unity because it doesn't please them."
He also may have hinted to JT's plans in the future, saying it will be "totally classic to see him come back to Denver in Silver & Black and rip the Broncos and their loser fans a new one."
"This kid has beaten all the odd. You losers have been knocking him since he got drafted, screaming 'he's a nobody, he didn't play against anybody, he's soft, he can't this, he can't that' and all he did was prove every critic wrong along the way."
The bottom line of all of this - and of so much that is being "reported" out of the Broncos' camp of late - is that we DO NOT KNOW.
MHR has reached out to "lethylg" for comments, but he has not yet responded.
Still, what Greg Thomas says, what Brandon Spano says players said, what reporters and bloggers say "sources in and around the Broncos" said...all of it is conjecture until we hear it directly from Julius Thomas, or John Elway or even Peyton Manning...or anyone directly involved in the decisions.