Demaryius Thomas

Demaryius Thomas Involved In Car Crash

Free agent veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas was involved in a rollover crash in Denver early Saturday morning, ABC 7’s Oscar Contreras writes. He reportedly suffered minor injuries. 

Police responded to the single-vehicle accident shortly after midnight. Thomas and another man suffered minor injuries, but a woman inside the car sustained potentially serious injuries though they were not thought to be life threatening.

Police are investigating the crash, but investigators have said neither drugs nor alcohol appear to be involved in the accident.

That is a scary situation for the former Broncos wideout, but it’s great news he escaped the incident without any major injuries.

In his ninth season in the league, Thomas started the first eight games of the season for the Broncos, making 36 grabs for 402 yards and three touchdowns. He was acquired by the Texans at midseason and finished the campaign in Houston, logging 23 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Earlier this week, the four-time Pro Bowl selection was released from the team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Notes: Flacco, Texans, Bucs, Panthers

In agreeing to trade for Joe Flacco, the Broncos made an early move to attempt to upgrade at quarterback. As bad as things have gone at quarterback for the Broncos over the past three years, the Jaguars have experienced more trouble. The Jags were mentioned as a Flacco suitor earlier this offseason, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweets the team continued to have interest until the Broncos pulled the trigger. However, Denver’s offer of a fourth-round pick was the best proposal Baltimore received, La Canfora adds. This was the Broncos’ fourth-round pick (No. 106), not the selection they acquired from the Texans in exchange for Demaryius Thomas (No. 118).

Shifting to non-Flacco matters, here is the latest from the South divisions:

  • Thomas’ Texans tenure did not last long, with the team predictably balking on the former Pro Bowl wide receiver’s lofty 2019 salary. But with the Texans making the move to release the 31-year-old wideout while he is still recovering from a severe Achilles injury, Thomas is in line to receive injury protection, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. Article 45 of the CBA stipulates Thomas would stand to receive $1.2MM from the Texans, reducing the franchise’s cap savings on this move from $14MM to $12.8MM. Nevertheless, Thomas’ salary coming off the Texans’ books increases their cap space to nearly $76MM.
  • Although Pro Football Focus had not viewed Donovan Smith as an upper-echelon tackle, the Buccaneersfront office has held him in higher regard. Even as the team shifts to Bruce Arians calling the shots on the sideline, keeping Smith off the market may still be on the table. Indications point to the Bucs placing the franchise tag on Smith if no deal can be reached before then, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The 2019 tag for offensive linemen is expected to come in at just more than $14MM. Were Smith to reach the market, he could command a lucrative deal. Although, with only three tackles making $14MM per year, it would be a stretch for the Bucs’ four-year left tackle starter to exceed that total — the annual offensive line sellers’ market notwithstanding.
  • Ben Jacobsearly-offseason release will not lead to the longtime special-teamer catching on elsewhere. The former Panthers linebacker will instead take a staff position with Carolina, the franchise announced. Jacobs is the Panthers’ new assistant special teams coach. Jacobs, 30, spent six years with the Panthers, serving as a core member of Carolina’s ST units for most of that time. He will work under fellow former Panthers linebacker Chase Blackburn.
  • The Panthers will be the latest team to bring in a game management coach. Sam Mills III, son of the former Panthers and Saints linebacker, will begin working in this role, the team announced. A 15th-year Panthers staffer, Mills will retain his defensive line coach title while helping Ron Rivera on game days with replay challenges, clock management and other situational elements.

Texans Release Demaryius Thomas

Demaryius Thomas‘s tenure with the Texans has come to an end, as the team announced it has released the veteran wideout. James Palmer of the NFL Network first reported (via Twitter) that the release was forthcoming, and ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates tweets that Thomas was released with a failed physical designation.

After spending eight-plus seasons with the Broncos, the 31-year-old was traded to the Texans (along with a seventh-rounder) for a fourth-rounder and seventh-rounder back in October. Thomas proceeded to play in seven games for Houston, hauling in 23 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns. However, he tore his Achilles in late December, ending his season.

As Palmer notes, the release isn’t an indication that the Texans think Thomas is done. The wideout tore his Achilles during the 2011 offseason, but he was fully healthy after only six months. It will naturally take the veteran a bit more time to recover this time around, but it doesn’t sound like this is the end of the road for the receiver (though Yates observes that Thomas does have a long recovery ahead of him).

Thomas was due $14MM next season, but thanks to an “out” in his contract, the Texans won’t be left with any dead cap. The team could theoretically look to re-sign Thomas at a smaller cap number, although the team is already pretty deep at the position. As of right now, the Texans will roll into next season with DeAndre Hopkins, Keke Coutee, and Will Fuller (who’s recovering from an ACL injury) atop their depth chart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Demaryius Thomas Wants To Continue Playing

Demaryius Thomas has undoubtedly declined in recent years, but the veteran wide receiver says he is not interested in retirement at this time. Instead, Thomas says he would like to return to the Texans, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes.

My main priority right now is getting back healthy. I can still play, man. I’m not thinking about retirement. I just don’t know where it will be,” Thomas said. “I told them I would love to finish my career here, but we’ll see…This is what we have to deal with as players and guys in the locker room. I hope my appearance and being around the guys and talking to a couple of guys helped. I don’t want to say I helped that much play-wise, but leadership-wise, I think I helped.”

Thomas’ assessment of his on-field performance is pretty accurate. In seven games with Houston, he caught 23 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns. He’s also dealing with a surgically repaired torn Achilles that could complicate matters.

Texans head coach Bill O’Brien was also asked about Thomas’ future this week, but was largely non-committal.

I had a long talk with Demaryius the other day,” O’Brien said. “He’s a great guy. We’ll see how the rehab goes. That’s a tough injury. He knows that. He’s 30 years old. That’s not easy to come back from, but he’s going to work hard. He wants to play again. He made that statement to me, and we’ll see how it goes moving forward.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans To Place Thomas, Webster On IR

Demaryius Thomas‘ season is over. The Texans will place their No. 2 wide receiver on IR after he suffered an Achilles injury Sunday.

Interestingly, Kayvon Webster will head back to IR as well. The Texans just brought Webster off IR on Saturday but lost the cornerback during the game to a thigh injury. Houston also placed linebacker Brian Peters on IR and promoted wide receiver Steven Mitchell to the active roster from its practice squad.

Teammates from 2013-16 in Denver, Thomas and Webster’s Houston futures are uncertain. The Texans may well have been unlikely to keep Thomas on his lofty contract — which includes a non-guaranteed $14MM base salary in 2019 — before his injury, which is believed to be a torn Achilles. Now that he will have to undergo a significant rehab endeavor, the soon-to-be 31-year-old wideout likely will not be part of the 2019 Texans.

Thomas’ ninth NFL season will end with 59 receptions for 677 yards, the bulk of those coming with the Broncos, and five touchdowns. The 2010 first-round pick made four Pro Bowls between 2012-16 and amassed at least 900 receiving yards from 2012-17. He has not missed a game since early in the 2011 slate, having started 111 consecutive games since the start of the ’12 season.

The Texans added Webster late in the offseason. He ended up playing in just two games, suffering multiple injuries that will result in two separate IR stays this season. The sixth-year cornerback, who suffered a season-ending injury in 2017 as well, will be a free agent at season’s end.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Demaryius Thomas Believed To Have Torn Achilles

The Texans may be down another receiver. Wideout Demaryius Thomas was carted off the field during today’s game against the Eagles, and he’s been ruled out with an Achilles injury. While he’s set to undergo tests, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the wideout is believed to have torn his Achilles.

NFL Network’s James Palmer tweets that Thomas pushed off the line and immediately fell to the ground, with the reporter noting that the veteran appeared to be “in unreal pain.” Thomas was also seen punching the ground before he was ultimately carted off the field.

The 30-year-old wideout was acquired by the Texans from the Broncos in late October. Thomas proceeded to start each of his six games with Houston, hauling in 20 receptions for 238 yards and two touchdowns. His overall numbers were down this season, as he was on track to finish with fewer than 900 receiving yards for the first time since 2011. While the numbers haven’t been all that encouraging, Pro Football Focus was still bullish on his performance; the site ranked Thomas 45th among 128 eligible wideouts.

The team was already shorthanded on offense heading into today’s game, as both running back Lamar Miller and wideout Keke Coutee had been ruled out yesterday. With Will Fuller on the injured reserve, the Texans are now left with only three healthy wideouts in DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Carter, and Vyncint Smith.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Notes: Joseph, Thomas, Elway

His new team dealing perhaps the final blow to his previous employer’s 2018 playoff hopes via 19-17 win in Week 9, Texans wide receiver Demaryius Thomas expressed issues he had with the Broncos’ coaching staff. Thomas said during an interview with former Broncos Ray Crockett and Rod Smith on Orange and Blue 760 (via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala, on Twitter) Vance Joseph informed him he would be staying in Denver after the trade deadline. Though, to be fair to the second-year head coach, he may not have known the status of John Elway‘s progress in acquiring a mid-round pick for the veteran wideout. Thomas said his agent told him Elway wanted a fifth-round pick in a trade, helping perhaps to explain the GM’s decision to accept a Texans fourth-round pick.

Additionally, Thomas told Crockett and Smith the coaching staff made him feel as though he was holding back rookies Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton and that first-year receivers coach Zach Azzani asked only Thomas to come out of a Jets loss to give Hamilton more snaps (Twitter links via Jhabvala). Joseph said (via Mike Klis of 9News) he didn’t recall a trade-related conversation with Thomas unfolding the way the since-jettisoned wideout said it did.

Here’s more from Denver:

  • As for Joseph’s job security, Elway offered a lukewarm endorsement. “At this point in time, we’re going to stay the course,” Elway said during an Orange and Blue 760 interview (via Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press). “I think there’s enough good things that are going on as far as us and the way that we’re playing. I’m much more encouraged this year than I was last year.” The Broncos have lost four one-score games — all to teams with at least six wins — but are 3-6 and may be on the verge of their first back-to-back losing seasons since the mid-1970s. It’s hard to imagine Joseph (8-17 as a head coach) receiving a third year.
  • A possible route Elway might go in 2019, look no further than the success the Chiefs are having. Buzz is developing in NFL circles (via SI.com’s Albert Breer) that Elway has taken a “special interest” in the college-type concepts that have helped not just the Chiefs but other teams around the league. Should Elway hire another coach in January, it will be his fourth since taking a front office job with his former team. He interviewed Joseph, Kyle Shanahan and Chiefs ST coordinator Dave Toub for the job Joseph received.
  • Wide receiver Jordan Taylor won’t play for the Broncos this season, Jhabvala tweets. He will stay on the PUP list the rest of the way. Taylor’s 21-day practice window expired on Monday.
  • Matt Paradis underwent surgery to repair a broken right fibula, Klis notes. The veteran center will be a free agent in March, but Klis adds the Broncos are interested in bringing him back. The sides discussed an extension before the season but did not come to terms. Prior to the injury Sunday, Paradis had started every game for the Broncos since the start of their 2015 Super Bowl season.

Deadline Notes: DT, Fowler, Collins, Bell

There were five trades made on deadline day, but none of them involved Giants safety Landon Collins. Appearing on ESPN’s The Michael Kay Show, the 24-year-old said New York was “asking a little bit too much,” leading to suitors shying away from a deal.

Ralph Vacchiano of SNY writes that the Giants were ultimately seeking a 2019 second-rounder and a late-round pick in 2020, but no team offered more than a third. The Chiefs and Buccaneers were among the teams to have made bids for the defensive back.

Considering all of the rumors surrounding the Giants, Collins admitted that he was a bit on edge up until the deadline.

“Yeah I was very anxious honestly,” Collins said (via Vacchiano). “I heard multiple teams offered a lot. It’s crazy. My agent called me and I looked at my phone and thought ‘Oh God.’”

Below are some more deadline notes from around the NFL…

  • Before the Broncos traded wideout Demaryius Thomas to the Texans, both the Patriots and Eagles made competitive offers for the veteran, reports Mike Klis 9News in Denver (via Twitter). The Titans also made a late bid for the receiver. Denver ultimately sent Thomas and a seventh-round pick to Houston for a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick. New England had previously been connected to the 30-year-old. Philly ended up making a trade with the Lions for wideout Golden Tate, another wideout the Patriots were eyeing.
  • The 2019 third-round pick sent to the Jaguars in the Dante Fowler trade is conditional, tweets Howard Balzer. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the conditional draft pick will be based on how many compensatory picks the Rams receive. If Los Angeles does receive a compensatory pick, that will be sent to Jacksonville. If the Rams receive more than one compensatory pick, the Jaguars will receive the higher selection. If the Rams don’t get any compensatory picks, then they’ll simply send their own pick to complete the trade. Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com tweets that Los Angeles is expecting compensatory picks for the offseason losses of Trumaine Johnson and Sammy Watkins. Jacksonville also received a 2020 fifth-rounder in the Fowler deal.
  • As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler points out (via Twitter), the Steelers unwillingness to trade Le’Veon Bell means the running back will now have two weeks to report to the team. If the Pro Bowler fails to show up by November 13th, he won’t be allowed to play this season. Fowler notes that Bell is still intending on playing this season, but he still hasn’t informed the Steelers of his plans.
  • The Ravens traditionally don’t trade draft picks for players, especially during the season. As Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic writes, prior to today, the team had only made one significant pre-deadline deal (for left tackle Eugene Monroe in 2013). However, today’s trade for Ty Montgomery followed general manager Ozzie Newsome‘s “right player, right price” attitude. Baltimore ended up sending the Packers a seventh-rounder for a versatile offensive weapon who had more than 800 all-purpose yards only two seasons ago. While the 25-year-old may not be as flashy of a name as LeSean McCoy or Jordan Howard, Zrebiec believes the Ravens gave up minor draft capital for a player who could end up helping them down the stretch.

Broncos Trade Demaryius Thomas To Texans

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.

Thomas supporters would argue that Case Keenum‘s woes are to blame for his drop off in production. Soon, we’ll find out whether Thomas can turn back the clock with Deshaun Watson under center.

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.

Patriots Interested In Golden Tate

In addition to the Patriots’ Demaryius Thomas interest ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline, the team is also “particularly interested” in Lions wideout Golden Tate, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Tate’s in the final season of a five-year contract, and earlier Monday a report indicated a fourth-round pick may be sufficient to pry Tate from Detroit. Rapoport notes Thomas remains of interest to the Pats as well. The trade deadline is at 3pm Tuesday.

Around $3.7MM remains on Tate’s contract. The Patriots hold more than $5MM in cap space, additional room created by restructuring Jason McCourty‘s deal earlier this season.

The Lions, who beat the Patriots in September, aren’t necessarily surefire sellers. They’re 3-4 and one game out of an NFC wild card spot and still in the hunt for an NFC North title, although they certainly shouldn’t be considered the favorites in a stacked division. But with Marvin Jones and the emerging Kenny Golladay in the fold, it’s harder to see them keeping Tate beyond 2018. No substantial discussions about an extension between the Lions and Tate are known to have taken place.

Although, Tate said Monday talks have occurred, telling Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press he and the Lions are “closer” on an extension. Though, Tate has been one of the NFL’s most productive receivers during his Lions stay and would be a sought-after commodity on the market, perhaps commanding more than $12MM per year in free agency. He’s making less than $7MM per year on his Detroit deal. He does not expect to be traded.

I don’t think so,” Tate said (via Birkett), on whether or not he believes he’ll be dealt. “I feel like I’m a huge part of this organization and this offense especially, so hopefully that’s not the case. But again, I do understand it’s a business and if it happens then, you know, depends on where they send me.”

The interest New England has in these veteran wideouts stems from the unreliability of Josh Gordon, Michael Giardi of NFL.com notes (video link). Gordon’s already run into moderate trouble with his new team; the Pats are set to bench him to start Monday night’s game because of tardiness. The team isn’t sure what it will get from Gordon, per Giardi, which is why the Pats are giving hard looks to other available vets.

Tate spends much of his time in the slot for the Lions. The Patriots have Julian Edelman back but could surely make their offense work with Tate in the fold. Tate has 44 receptions for 517 yards and three touchdowns this season. The Lions and Pats have a natural pipeline, with Bob Quinn having worked with Bill Belichick in New England.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.