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Demaryius Thomas can sign with another team after Broncos place non-exclusive franchise tag

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As it stands now, Demaryius Thomas will still be a Denver Broncos wide receiver in 2015. But the situation is still somewhat fluid.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

If you didn't see this news coming, you haven't been hanging around the NFL blogosphere over the past month.

The Denver Broncos have officially used their franchise tag on wide receiver Demaryius Thomas hours ahead of the NFL deadline, the team announced Monday.

"We will continue working toward a long-term agreement with Demaryius." John Elway

"This is another step in our efforts to extend Demaryius' contract and ensure he remains a Denver Bronco," Broncos GM John Elway said in a statement. "We will continue working toward a long-term agreement with Demaryius, who is a very important part of our team."

That doesn't mean there wasn't a twist though: it had been expected the Broncos would use the "regular"/exclusive franchise tag on Thomas. Instead, they went with the non-exclusive tag, as reported late Sunday, which means another team can sign the fifth-year wideout.

What's the "non-exclusive" franchise tag?

It keeps Demaryius from openly hitting the free agent market (Thomas will reportedly make $12.82 million) while enabling Demaryius the opportunity to talk with other teams. If a team comes up with a contract for D.T., the Broncos would have the right to match it; if they don't, the Broncos would be entitled to two first-round draft picks.

So everything's good, right?

Well, almost. There's still the process of Demaryius actually signing his franchise tag offer, something he doesn't have to do until July 15. This means he could miss the team's OTA's and minicamps.

Meanwhile, the Broncos are expected to continue working on a long-term deal with Thomas. It's a tactic they used with Ryan Clady two years ago - they tagged the franchise left tackle before working out a long-term contract before the season started.

Do you approve?

What do you think, Broncos Country? Do you approve of the Broncos' placement of the franchise tag on Demaryius Thomas?