The Broncos have exercised Demaryius Thomas‘ $4MM option to trigger the final two years on his deal, according to Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post (on Twitter). This was the expected move, even though Thomas was once speculated to be a potential cap casualty.
Thomas has become one of the greatest wide receivers in franchise history and he’ll have a chance to build on his credentials in a ninth season in Denver. The former first-round pick has functioned as the Broncos’ No. 1 wide receiver since his second season, and John Elway said at the Combine that Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders — also a rumored cut for a franchise that had Kirk Cousins on its radar — would be back next season.
With Case Keenum now in the fold at a deal believed to be worth around $18MM per year, the Broncos have more breathing room regarding the salaries of their veteran wideouts than they would have had Cousins agreed to come to Denver. Thomas will count $12.3MM toward Denver’s 2018 cap.
Thomas and Sanders have been the Broncos’ starting tandem since 2014, and the duo has been vital for a franchise that’s had trouble identifying supporting-cast talent at receiver or from its tight ends. While the Broncos’ quarterback situation helped sink the 2017 team, Thomas still graded as Bleacher Report’s No. 6 outside receiver. His string of 1,000-yard seasons stopped at nine, but the former Georgia Tech talent still caught 83 passes for 949 yards and five touchdowns.
Despite experiencing injury trouble during his first two years, Thomas has become one of the most durable players at his job. He’s played in all 16 regular-season games for six straight years. He’s now entering his age-30 season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.