In case you missed it, I talked yesterday about contract negotiations and how everyone needed to relax. Let's take that framework and see what we can see about our big signing yesterday.
We heard a ton of things in the past few days:
- The deal was "not likely"
- The team and DT's camp exchanged offers on Monday
- DT asking for more than Megatron
- The team and DT's camp haven't talked in a month
- The Broncos offered more that 40M in guarantees
- The deal isn't expected to happen and DT may hold out of TC
Hopefully you can see the majority of that stuff was complete trash. The only one of those I see as worth anything was the info on the Broncos offering a deal worth more than $40 million. The rest of it was either made-up info from the Broncos of questionable worth, or info from DT's camp of questionable worth.
Some may think a lot of this was done as a way to manipulate negotiations, but in this case, I don't see it at all. The fans favor or not has little to do with a negotiation that the Broncos wanted to make happen.
What we learned:
Team Management: The Denver Broncos believe that Demaryius Thomas is one of the very best WRs in the NFL. His size, skill, speed, work ethic and dedication is appreciated by the team, and they think he's worth a whole lot of money and a significant piece of the salary cap pie. He may not play a position that Elway deems as a "premium" position, but sometimes significant talent trumps your baseline plans.
Players: Whether I buy into it or not, the players now have a great example of a guy who was drafted by the Broncos getting paid and paid well to stay in Denver. You have to think between Chris Harris, Jr. and Demaryius Thomas that that speaks positively to some in the locker room about what quality of organization they work for and how to go about their business so that they too can get rewarded.
Agents: From the team's press conference, it seems this negotiation was fairly straightforward. Heck, even the contract itself doesn't appear to be complicated. The agents here got a great salary and got a very player-friendly deal that had little to no incentives built in.
Salary Cap Considerations: The Broncos have tied up a significant amount of this year's cap space and next year's as well. As we have seen many times now, Elway prefers contracts with big pay up front in guarantees with team option years following that. We don't have to keep DT in year three, four or five of the contract if something strange happens (big drop in performance, injury, act of God, etc).
Current Contracts: DT didn't get paid more than Megatron mainly because that contract was pretty full of dumb (in my opinion and that of the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and both Dez and DT's agents). He's paid as a top three WR in the league, which I can argue fits, given his body of work to date.
Now that we have this behind us, we can look forward to a big, bright future with a fantastic football player signed for the next five years. He's going to continue to be great in this offense as well. Sure Houston had their ups and downs, but go look at what Kubiak did in his time with Andre Johnson. Look at what Kubiak did with Rod Smith in his time as the offensive coordinator.
Also don't worry about DT's effort. There is nothing to support the idea that he's not going to keep giving his all to the team. He's a hard working football player that has been working for years to be the best WR he can be. That isn't going to stop. He has a mom fresh out of jail who he wants to play for.
I look forward to seeing Demaryius in our beloved orange and blue this season, and I hope the rest of Broncos Country does as well.