A pair of Peyton Manning‘s top weapons face free agency this winter, but the Broncos don’t anticipate working out contract extensions with either Demaryius Thomas or Julius Thomas during the season, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. Instead, the team will table discussions for now and resume negotiations with both players once the season is over, Schefter reports.
The Broncos reportedly initiated talks with their top receiver and top tight end back in June, and GM John Elway provided an update just before training camp got underway, indicating that the club expected to remain in contact with both players about their contracts during camp and the preseason. So far, however, it seems as if Denver hasn’t been able to reach a compromise with either player’s camp, so it makes sense to postpone discussions as the team focuses on making a Super Bowl run.
Buoyed by a 17.0 yards per catch average, Demaryius Thomas ranks fifth in the NFL with 662 receiving yards in just six games, putting him on pace to obliterate his career high of 1,434 yards. As for Julius Thomas, no one at any position has grabbed more touchdowns than the tight end’s nine so far this season. In other words, both Thomases are on track to have monster seasons, meaning it won’t be easy for the Broncos to keep both players, even if the club uses the franchise tag on one of them.
Complicating matters further is the fact that wideout Wes Welker is also eligible for free agency at season’s end. Welker doesn’t put up the same sort of huge numbers that the Thomases do, and likely won’t be as high a priority when the team starts addressing contracts, but he’s still a significant part of the Broncos’ passing attack. Having to let go of him or one of the Thomases for the 2015 season would be a notable loss for Manning and company.