“I’m Demaryius Thomas, and I’ve finally come to a decision to hang it up. I’m going to retire, and I’m going to retire a Denver Bronco.” pic.twitter.com/Q6nNrxc59B— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 28, 2021
On Monday, Demaryius Thomas officially said goodbye to the NFL.
As a fan and someone who has been blogging about the Denver Broncos since 2007, DT is a guy I had grown to love as an all-time Bronco. I actually don’t buy a lot of jersey’s, but that #88 is in the closet next to #58 and #7.
He is absolutely a Ring of Fame type Bronco in my book. But how does that sentiment stack up to the numbers? The numbers as a Denver Bronco have him ranked third in receptions behind Rod Smith and Shannon Sharpe and second in touchdowns and receiving yards behind Smith. So I think that means he is a lock for the ROF.
There was also an interesting stat about how dominant Thomas was through a five-year stretch. Only one player in NFL history had more receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns, and wins in a five-year stretch than Thomas had from 2012-2016 and that was none other than Jerry Rice.
Congratulations to Demaryius Thomas on retiring as a Denver Bronco!— Patrick Smyth (@psmyth12) June 28, 2021
Only 1 player in NFL history has equaled Demaryius’ production in catches (535), receiving yards (7,332), TD catches (51) and most impressively wins (64) over a five-year period (‘12-16):
Jerry Rice (1992-96). pic.twitter.com/EbWKQS9Ne4
That actually reminded me of another very dominant run by a Broncos wide receiver. Lionel Taylor from 1960-1965 set the record for most receptions in a six-year stretch (508) that wasn’t broken until Sterling Sharpe in the 1990s. And he played 14-game seasons back then.
As for Thomas, he seemed to get a lot of criticism from fans on social media and other people covering the team during his career. I never really understood it then or even now while reflecting. He was a guy I thought would challenge Rod Smith for the greatest of all-time honor in Broncos history and, frankly, he came damn close. I often wonder how his career might have gone had Denver not slipped into quarterback purgatory towards the end of his time in Denver.
That said, he’s right there with Smith and Sharpe in the record books so its not a bad place to be in my opinion.
My personal ranking for all-time Broncos wide receivers would be Rod Smith, Demaryius Thomas, Lionel Taylor, Eddie McCaffrey and Haven Moses. Somewhere nearby is Emmanuel Sanders and Brandon Marshall too. DT will certainly enter the Broncos’ Ring of Fame one day.
What a great draft pick by Josh McDaniels. Maybe the only thing he did right in his time in Denver.
Broncos President of Football Operations John Elway
“Demaryius had an incredible NFL career and was such a big part of everything we accomplished during his many years as a Bronco. D.T. was the complete package as a wide receiver, growing into one of the very best at his position. The combination of his size, speed, strength and athleticism was unmatched. Demaryius’ remarkable consistency and production were instrumental in our offense setting historic records and our team winning a lot of games, including two AFC Championships and Super Bowl 50. Equally as impressive as his many catches, big plays and touchdowns was the fact he didn’t miss a game for nearly seven years in a row. You could always count on D.T. He belongs among the greatest players in Broncos history for what he’s meant to this organization on the field and out in the community. We appreciate everything Demaryius did for us and congratulate him on his retirement from the NFL.”
Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis
“Demaryius Thomas was a spectacular player for the Denver Broncos. For as humble and soft-spoken as Demaryius was during his nine years with our organization, you would have never known he was such a dominant player in our league. D.T. was an integral part of one of the greatest offenses of all-time, putting up record-setting numbers and giving Broncos fans so many unforgettable memories. I’ve never heard Empower Field at Mile High louder than his game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Steelers in the playoffs. His many interactions giving back in the community—and especially with kids—were genuine and impactful. He will always hold a special place in Broncos history as one of the greatest wide receivers to ever play for this franchise. We’re proud to call Demaryius a ‘Bronco for Life.’ Our organization congratulates Demaryius on a remarkable career and looks forward to celebrating all that he’s meant to the Denver Broncos.”
Demaryius Thomas always gave it his all — and then some. pic.twitter.com/NzWBZbBsjP— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 28, 2021
The @Broncos drafted him 22nd overall in 2010. Today, Demaryius Thomas officially retires as a Bronco.— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) June 28, 2021
5x Pro Bowler, 2x All-Pro
724 catches + 9,762 receiving yards
63 career touchdowns pic.twitter.com/R06KKZJOHZ
“I always had great respect for your toughness, your work ethic, your fearlessness across the middle, your ability to make big catches in big games. … You did it the right way.”— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 28, 2021
Peyton Manning on Demaryius Thomas: pic.twitter.com/3RhBODuhP8
“You are a primary example of someone that comes into the league one way and leaves it an absolute different way.”@BrianDawkins congratulates Demaryius Thomas on retirement: pic.twitter.com/Cv0uwTuq5b— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 28, 2021
“Congratulations, my man, on a great career that I was very well blessed to be a part of.”— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) June 28, 2021
John Fox on Demaryius Thomas: pic.twitter.com/GdKtPL8FqD