When Ian St. Clair and I sat down to record the MHR Radio podcast on Tuesday night, it was apparent that one thing would dominate our conversation. When the Denver Broncos traded Demaryius Thomas away to the Houston Texans it was kind of like the end of an era. Obviously, we as a community have gone about saying goodbye, and thank you. On Sunday, DT will have his chance to give one last goodbye.
Thomas has been a huge part of the Denver Broncos since being drafted in with the 22nd pick in 2010. His relationship with Tim Tebow led to one of the biggest playoff moments in Broncos history. Then, as Peyton Manning entered the mix his numbers skyrocketed. They garnered him a big contract, and now, here we all are.
Make no mistake, the loss of Thomas to salary and age concerns is one of the frustrating aspects of the NFL that plagues most teams. That doesn’t prevent fans like the great Dr. Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann from feeling betrayed, and dismayed at the move. Check out Doc’s little (large) epic rant on Thomas in the podcast. His legacy with the team was cemented long ago, but now it is time to say goodbye.
The #Broncos do actually play a game vs the #Texans this week. @AdamMalnati16 & I almost forgot while listening to @docllv’s little (large) epic rant about the DT trade on the latest @MileHighReport Radio Podcast. Great stuff for #BroncosCountry from Doc. https://t.co/UrY4r67TI9— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) October 31, 2018
Perhaps most fittingly, Thomas will get the chance to issue his final goodbye to Broncos Country on Sunday when his new team comes to Mile High Stadium to face off with his old team. The Texans needed a replacement for the injured Will Fuller, and Thomas should fill that void nicely. As Ian and I said on the show, he will probably give the team a proper send off, with a big DT game.
With the way the Broncos secondary has performed this season, there is no reason to think he can’t have a huge impact. Bradley Roby has struggled. and will likely draw Thomas several times. Their practice battles will now be game time scraps. He is going to want to prove he is still capable. No doubt he will get his targets, and his chance to shine.
Watching players like Thomas move on is frustrating. More frustrating will be watching him be great again with a good quarterback to throw him the football. Deshaun Watson has the Houston offense firing. Throwing a capable receiver like Thomas in the mix only makes them more dangerous. Remember how good DT was with Peyton Manning throwing him the ball?
Yes, he is older. And yes, he is only going to get older. However, he has the opportunity to make big plays with a new team. His career will likely be injected with meaning, and more catches in the final weeks of the season. Meanwhile, Denver will probably continue the backward slide that will land them a high draft pick, and nothing more.
In the end, the most frustrating part of the Thomas trade was it was the lone move that John Elway made. With all the rumors swirling around the Broncos, it seemed inevitable that Denver would be selling at the trade deadline. The Thomas trade seemed to be the indicator of the Broncos intentions to make big changes.
And then nothing happened. We sat and waited like Linus in the pumpkin patch, but the great pumpkin never came. Instead, we are still stuck with Vance Joseph as the head coach, no true direction for the franchise, and a lack of identity that is killing the season. Thomas was the lucky one. He got out.
His exit begins with a return. He moves on, but not before one last chance to play in front of the fans that loved him so much. Will there be those who say good riddance to bad rubbish? Of course, but most of Broncos Country appreciates everything that DT has done. It’s just too bad that his move was the beginning and the end, placing the Broncos squarely in NFL purgatory.
Thanks for the memories DT. Good luck, and congrats on getting out.