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Demaryius Thomas soaks up life with Peyton Manning

CULVER CITY, Calif. -- Imagine you're Demaryius Thomas. It's March and you're watching along with the rest of America as Peyton Manning plays the belle of the ball in free agency.

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If Manning picks the Denver Broncos, you have a golden opportunity to become a very rich, very famous wide receiver. The consolation prize? Likely another season with Tim Tebow and an offense that prays at the altar of the run.

Thomas -- in an interview with Around The League at NFL.com headquarters -- knew the stakes were high as he followed the chase.

"When it got down to two teams, us and San Francisco, that's when I really started watching," Thomas said. "I was actually playing it like I was him. Looking at the good receivers on that team and this team. The offensive line, defense. I saw it like, 'He wants to go to a place that can win a championship. He's been in the league a while now and is coming off that injury.' "

Manning chose the Denver Broncos, of course, much to Thomas' glee. The receiver recalled being nervous the first time he met the quarterback.

"Future Hall of Famer, first day on the field, I've got to do everything correct," he said. "That's going to take some time. I've got to get better and better because if you mess up he'll be on you."

I asked him about Tebow. Thomas made some comments during a radio interview in April that made it clear he won't miss playing with his former teammate, now with the New York Jets.

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"Everybody praise up to Tim, everybody loves Tim. He's a great guy, great football player," Thomas said, choosing his words carefully. "The only thing I can say is it was fun while it lasted. He helped my career out, that was my best year since I've been in the league."

But now it's about Peyton Manning. Thomas said Manning has repeatedly told him he's "the biggest and fastest wide receiver he's ever thrown to." Fantasy owners take note: This could be an explosive pairing.

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