The Broncos have some big decisions to make in the near future and Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) has an idea of which way they’re leaning. Denver, he says, plans to use the franchise tag on Demaryius Thomas while letting Julius Thomas and Terrance Knighton hit the open market.
The Broncos, according to Cole, will not make much of an attempt to sign the tight end or Pot Roast during their exclusivity period. Once free agency gets underway, they’ll have a better idea of what it will take to keep both players, at which point GM John Elway & Co. will assess matters.
In Julius Thomas’ case, the big concern is that he only had five catches over the final seven games of the season and some in the organization believe that he did not play very hard while he was hampered by a sprained ankle. In total, the tight end brought in 43 catches for 489 receiving yards with 12 touchdowns. Those aren’t bad numbers, but the 26-year-old (27 in June) set the bar higher in 2013 when he hauled in 65 catches for 788 yards and 12 scores on his way to his first career Pro Bowl.
When it comes to Knighton, the Broncos are worried about his weight. The defensive tackle was tipping the scales by about 40 pounds over his usual weight for much of the 2014 season. With a few extra pounds on him, Knighton managed to record 30 tackles and 2.0 sacks on the year. For his part, Knighton has made no secret of his desire to remain in orange.
Last season, Thomas recorded 1,619 receiving yards off of 111 catches with 11 touchdowns.