Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas remains unsigned with just over a week to go before the July 15 deadline for franchise players to reach long-term deals. And there are few signs that the two sides are getting close to a contract.
The Denver Post reports that Thomas wants Calvin Johnson money. That’s just not going to happen. As good as Thomas is, he’s not Calvin Johnson. And even Calvin Johnson isn’t worth Calvin Johnson money: Johnson will cost more than $65 million against the Lions’ cap over the next three years, and the Lions will likely either ask Johnson to take a pay cut or cut him before he plays out his contract.
So if Thomas isn’t worth Calvin Johnson money, what is he worth? According to the report, Thomas feels that it would be hard to take less than $40 million guaranteed, and the Broncos aren’t inclined to give him that.
Which means Thomas and the Broncos probably won’t come to terms, and Thomas will probably play this season on the $12.8 million franchise tag. The question then is whether Thomas will sign the franchise tag this month and report to camp on time, or hold out until the end of the preseason and come into the regular season having done no work in new coach Gary Kubiak’s offense. If it’s the latter, the Broncos will be starting the season with their best offensive playmaker trying to play catch-up.