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Horse Tracks: Welcome back, Demaryius Thomas

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The Denver Broncos picked up Demaryius Thomas’ $4 million option yesterday, which locks in the final two seasons of his contract. Without question, it was the right move to bring back the franchise’s longest-tenured player.

NFL: New York Giants at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country.

As reported yesterday, the Denver Broncos have picked up their option on wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. In doing so, the franchise retains their elder statesman for the next two seasons. Thomas is the team’s longest tenured player and the last man standing prior to the advent of the John Elway Era — and they are going to need him to revert back to his prior production in order to make a significant jump from a 5-11 squad to a playoff caliber team in 2018.

When the Broncos drafted Thomas all those years ago, they knew they were getting a special player. While it took a few years for him to develop, being patient with him realizing his potential was well worth the wait. From 2012-2016, he was undoubtedly one of the league’s premier receiving options and earned six consecutive Pro Bowl honors and two All-Pro accolades. He’s cemented himself in the Broncos’ record books with his big time plays, and certainly has the ability to become number one in most all categories by putting together a few more quality seasons.

Last season was the first time since 2011 that he failed to amass 1,000 yards, but it’s safe to say that the constant changes at the quarterback position didn’t help him or his fellow receivers out very much. But quarterback issues shouldn’t be a detriment to the Thomas or the Broncos’ offensive efficacy this coming season — because they have a much better signal caller in the fold for the 2018 campaign.

While not the splash many were hoping for to start free agency, the addition of Case Keenum to the team’s roster as the starter for next season should help Thomas revert back to his former ways. Keenum had great chemistry with Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen last year with the Minnesota Vikings, so fans shouldn’t be surprised to witness a significant uptick in production from the veteran receiver, who will be entering his ninth season with the Broncos this year.

It is hard to envision any other scenario than Thomas finishing out his career wearing orange and blue. He has been a true professional since being drafted and is easily of the best draft picks in the history of the franchise. It’s mind-boggling that a player who has done so much on the field (as well as off the field) has gotten as much criticism as he has — and I look forward to him proving all his doubters wrong again in 2018.

Welcome back, Demaryius Thomas.

As always, thank you for reading and here is today’s offering of Horse Tracks.

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