Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway spoke to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday and answered multiple questions. One question asked of him was if both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders would return to the team in 2018? Elway told reporters that the plan is to bring them back.
Elway on Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders: “The plan is to bring them back.” #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) February 28, 2018
The Broncos have an option coming up on longtime wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. There was some talk about them declining that option and letting their longtime receiver hit the open market. However, Elway told reporters that they will indeed pick up his option and keep him in orange and blue for at least one more year.
Thomas is coming off a down year where he finished under 1,000 yards receiving for the first time since the 2011 season where he played in 11 games. Quarterback play was the main reason for this decline, so the Broncos are hoping he returns to form once they add better quarterback play to their roster.
I believe there is a chance that Thomas restructures his contract and free up some cap space so they can go after impending free agent quarterback, Kirk Cousins. Nothing has been reported, but I’d imagine that’s in the plans.
After reports that Emmanuel Sanders was on the trade block and likely on the way out, the Broncos decided to keep their veteran speedster.
Sanders is also coming off a down year where poor quarterback play and nagging injuries led to him posting career-worst numbers with the Broncos in 2017. He played in 12 games and totaled 47 receptions for 555 yards and only 2 touchdowns. It was a rough year for the soon to b 31-year old receiver, but they also hope he bounces back with better quarterback play.
Bringing back both veteran receivers makes sense if you’re trying to convince a top free agent quarterback to sign with your team. Letting one or both go without any viable replacements waiting in the wings while making a big run at quarterback Kirk Cousins just doesn’t make any sense.
Hopefully, both Sanders and Thomas return to form in 2018 and help turn the Broncos offense around.