Receiver Demaryius Thomas and his agent have reportedly exchanged offers with the Denver Broncos, and with the July 15 deadline looming the timing couldn’t be better. According to Mike Klis of 9News, the deal Denver has offered would make Thomas the second-highest paid receiver “by a large margin.”
Mike Wallace currently holds the league’s No. 2 spot behind Calvin Johnson with a salary of $12 million per year on average. If it’s true this latest offer from the Broncos is significantly higher than the deal Wallace received, then Thomas should accept it and put the contract impasse behind him.
Of course, there are a couple of reasons why Thomas and his agent would balk at signing any contract right now that doesn’t make him the highest-paid receiver in the game.
First off, the NFLPA is currently investigating Denver and the Dallas Cowboys for possible collusion. The union believes both teams are intentionally keeping the market low for top receivers, as both Thomas and Dez Bryant are due new contracts this year. There have been rumors that this investigation could be a key reason why the two sides don’t get a deal done, as Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole detailed.
Secondly, as Klis noted in his report, he has heard Thomas is seeking to be paid even more money than the huge deal Johnson received from the Detroit Lions three years ago before the current collective bargaining agreement kicked in.
With so much money being dedicated to the men who actually get receivers the ball, however, it’s unrealistic for Thomas, or Bryant for that matter, to have expectations of exceeding Johnson’s monstrous contract, which pays him an average of $16.2 million per year.
Reading between the lines, an offer that trumps Wallace’s “by a large margin” would likely come in around $13-14 million per season. And provided Denver ensures Thomas receives guaranteed money in the range of $35-40 million, then there is no reason for the receiver to say no to such a deal.
Denver isn’t just trying to keep Thomas happy these days, and he must realize he isn’t the only one seeking a big slice of the pie. If he wants to stay on a winning team, then it would behoove him to set his bar just a tad lower.
Otherwise, he’s going to end up like his former teammate Julius Thomas on a crappy team like Jacksonville.
If money is the only goal, then sure, take a hard stance.
However, most professional athletes are in it not only for the money but for the glory of winning a championship.
Unless these reports are inaccurate and the Broncos haven’t offered to make Thomas the second-highest paid receiver in football, then he needs to get the deal done now.
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