Community Tailgate: 7/14/15

We’re still almost two months away from the start of battles on the NFL gridiron, but there’s no offseason when it comes to debate amongst fans. Earlier this summer, we launched a new series here at PFR that will be known as the Community Tailgate. What’s the Community Tailgate all about? Well, it’s pretty simple. Every weekday, we’ll highlight one of the top stories going on in the NFL. Then, in the comment section below, we want you to weigh in and let us know what you think.

Of course, while the debate may get spirited, we ask that it all stays respectful. If you need a reminder of our rules, please check out our commenting policy. Basically, we ask that you refrain from inappropriate language, personal insults, and attacks. Speaking of commenting: we’ve made it much easier to leave a comment here at Pro Football Rumors. You are no longer required to be a registered user – simply put in your name, email address, and comment and submit.

Today, we’ll be discussing the impasse between Demaryius Thomas and the Broncos. The Broncos and Thomas‘ agent, Todd France, have recently exchanged proposals, which signifies some level of progress as the Wednesday deadline looms. However, there’s a significant divide between the two sides that needs to be crossed in less than 24 hours. Denver is offering “substantially more” than the contract of Minnesota’s Mike Wallace, who is currently the league’s second-highest paid receiver with a deal that averages $12MM a year. However, Thomas wants a deal that would exceed Calvin Johnson‘s mammoth contract.

Megatron, for the uninitiated, is in the midst of a $113MM+ deal with the Lions that is paying him upwards of $16MM per season with nearly $49MM guaranteed. GM John Elway doesn’t feel that Thomas should get quite that much. Johnson’s contract, the Broncos argue, is an outlier when it comes to wide receiver salaries. In fact, Elway (allegedly) told Cowboys COO Stephen Jones as much when the two (allegedly) discussed their respective contract talks with Thomas and Dez Bryant. At the time, Johnson was being paid under the old rookie scale and the Lions were forced to give him that hefty long-term deal in order to avoid their cap being hampered in the short-term.

Thomas’ stats over the last three years compare favorably to Megatron’s. The Broncos standout has hauled in 297 catches for 4,483 yards and 35 touchdowns while Johnson has 277 catches for 4,533 yards and 25 touchdowns. Thomas is also coming off a career year in which he racked up 111 catches and averaged more than 100 yards per game. Thomas’ camp was also quick to point out that Megatron’s deal was actually signed when the salary cap was $120.6MM rather than $143.3MM.

Earlier today, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report noted that he doesn’t expect Elway to budge significantly when it comes to the figures being discussed for Thomas. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Thomas’ camp bend with a compromise that looks more like Wallace’s deal than Johnson’s.

What’s your gut feeling at this time? Will the Broncos and Thomas work out a long-term deal before the Wednesday deadline? If so, how much will Thomas get from Denver? Let us know in the comment section below!

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6 comments on “Community Tailgate: 7/14/15

  1. Brian

    Just trade him. If you want that much money, trade him to the Jaguars or Browns and see how fun it is to play football there. All these high profile players talk that they just love to play the game yet, they want to take up 20% of the teams salary cap. Make up the difference in endorsements.

  2. Craig D

    Dumb to pay a WR Negatron type money. More important to have elite QB

  3. Luke Adams

    I’d be surprised to see Thomas and the Broncos get something done today. I get the feeling the team is waiting to see if Peyton retires after this season — it might make more sense to make a decision on Thomas at that point, to decide whether it’s worth investing big money into a WR who will be catching balls from an unproven QB (assuming Osweiler replaces Manning).

  4. Dallas Robinson

    Given that Denver is heading towards a more run-heavy, Kubiak-style offense, I don’t see them paying Thomas what he’s asking for. They could just as easily keep him on the tag this year, and even franchise him again next year. Obviously that would be expensive (and close to the guarantees he’d get on a long-term deal), but if nothing can get worked out, it’s an option.


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