The big debate around here has been whether Denver Broncos star wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas, is worth Calvin Johnson money or worth Mike Wallace money. I have noticed that generally you all feel he lies somewhere in between as he is obviously better than Wallace, but not Johnson.
Then a commenter named lancing_2009 on Mile High Report dropped some knowledge yesterday comparing Thomas to Johnson. The stats changed my opinion enough to send me off to research and follow up with some Mike Wallace numbers later in this post.
First, he (or she) compares the two players through their first five seasons in the NFL:
But just for comparison sake check these numbers through the first five seasons of DT and CJ career and tell me what you guys think.
Calvin Johnson: 366 receptions, 5872 yds (16ypc) and 49 TD
Demaryius Thomas: 351 receptions, 5317 yds (15.1ypc) and 41 TD. Mind you DT also missed 11 games during his first 2 seasons and had Tebow throwing him passes.
They look like similar players to me and lancing_2009 makes an excellent point that Thomas missed 11 games during his first two seasons and had Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow throwing him the ball during that time.
Well what about Mike Wallace? You know, since he is the contract the Broncos apparently want Thomas to accept.
Mike Wallace: 308 receptions, 4969 yds (16.1 ypc) and 37 TD. Wallace also only missed one game during that span.
Oh we're not finished. Let's just examine the last three years, after all, the NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" kind of league.
The numbers speak for themselves folks. Compare Megatron to DT over the past 3 seasons and the numbers are:
CJ: 489 targets*, 277 rec, 4533 yds*, 25 td
DT: 467 targets*, 297 rec*, 4483 yds*, 35 td*
I'm not sure what the asterisks mean, but those are some incredible numbers for Thomas. He beats out Calvin Johnson in nearly every state, except yards. Keep in mind the Detroit Lions are a pass-heavy team just like the Broncos. Peyton Manning is great, but he doesn't throw the ball to bums who can't get open.
Since Mike Wallace always seems to come up in the discussion of contract talks between the Broncos and Thomas, he must fare pretty similarly to these two beasts.
Wallace: 375 Targets, 204 receptions, 2628 yards (12.88 YPC) and 23 touchdowns.
This isn't even close. There are two players who belong in the same discussion and one who got paid way more than he should have.
I have changed my mind on this issue. YES, Demaryius Thomas is worth every penny of Calvin Johnson money. In fact, he is the only other player in NFL history besides Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison to compile three consecutive seasons of 90+ receptions, 1400+ yards and 10+ touchdowns.
John Elway needs to get this deal done and it needs to ensure Demaryius Thomas is wearing the orange and blue at least into the 2020's. You can replace starting talent, but you can't replace Hall of Fame talent. I believe Thomas to be of the latter.
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I've been reading quite a few posts and accompanying comment threads about DT's so-called holdout, his lack of a current contract, and the fact that he has not yet signed his 2015 franchise tag for $12.83M.
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