The Broncos were one of six NFL teams to open their June minicamp today, and despite the fact that these sessions are mandatory, the team wasn’t expecting Demaryius Thomas to be in attendance, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network. As anticipated, the standout receiver, who was franchise-tagged by the Broncos earlier this offseason, didn’t report to the camp.
Because he has yet to sign his one-year franchise tender, Thomas isn’t subject to fines for missing the mandatory sessions, as Breer observes. If he were officially under contract with the team, the 27-year-old could be fined up to about $70K for missing the June minicamp.
The Broncos have until July 15 to reach a long-term agreement with Thomas. If the two sides don’t strike a deal, the wideout’s only real option is playing the 2015 season on his one-year, $12.823MM offer, unless he wants to extend his holdout into training camp and perhaps into the regular season as well.
As Mike Klis of the Denver Post writes, it’s important that the team does everything it can to lock up Thomas this year, since Von Miller is eligible for free agency in 2016 — if both stars are unsigned next winter, the Broncos would face a very difficult decision when using its franchise tag, which can only be assigned to one player.
Head coach Gary Kubiak said today that he’s “confident” Denver will get an extension done with Thomas before training camp, tweets Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. While that confidence may be warranted, I expect negotiations between the two sides to go right down to the wire, with resolution coming near – or on – July 15, if it comes at all.