The Broncos have agreed to trade Demaryius Thomas to the Texans, sources tell Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The deal will send Thomas and a seventh-round pick to Houston for a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The trade paves the way for Courtland Sutton to receive an uptick in targets and gives the Texans a veteran receiver for the final stretch of the season.
Thomas’ name has been all over Pro Football Rumors for weeks and he wound up being involved in the first major trade of deadline day. Thomas, 31 in December, entered the league as a first-round pick of the Broncos in 2010 and was in his ninth season with the club. Along the way, Thomas racked up four Pro Bowl nods and a Super Bowl ring after the 2015 season.
When Thomas was at his best, he was among the most feared wide receivers in the NFL. From 2012-2015, Thomas averaged 100 catches for 1447 yards and ten touchdowns. Thomas cleared 1,000 yards in 2016 and nearly hit four digits last year, but he has not looked the same in 2018.
“I’ve been watching him for a long time, since he was at [Georgia Tech] and since he’s been in the NFL,” Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said when asked about Thomas (Twitter link via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post). “Excellent athletic skills. Great hands. Really good route runner. Very smooth route runner. He’s a tough guy to defend.”
The Patriots were said to be considering Thomas this month and the Titans and Eagles were also linked to the veteran. Those clubs and other WR-needy teams may pivot elsewhere between now and the Tuesday afternoon deadline.
The Broncos’ return may not seem impressive at first glance, but they did manage to shed $4MM in cap space this season and $14MM next season. And, given Thomas’ age and perceived decline, there was no way they were getting more than a fourth-rounder for him.
Thomas’ first game with the Texans will come against the Broncos, in Denver.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.