Contract talks begin with Demaryius, Julius Thomas


When the Denver Broncos allowed Eric Decker to hit the open market in March, it was with the understanding that salary cap space would be needed to extend the contracts of Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas.

Three months later, the Broncos have opened contract talks with both nucleus players.

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"We've already talked to them to see if we can do something before the beginning of the year," general manager John Elway said Monday, per The Denver Post. "We'd like to get something done before the beginning of camp. We don't want to do anything once training camp starts. They're both in their last years and we'd like for them to stay and be Broncos for a long time."

Decker has conceded that Demaryius Thomas is on a completely different level as a top-five NFL receiver. Outside of Peyton Manning, Thomas is the most valuable member of the Broncos' record-breaking offense.

As we discussed on the "Around The League Podcast," Thomas is part of a stacked wide-receiver class entering contract years. Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Torrey Smith and Roddy White are all in the market for lucrative long-term deals.

Thomas, Green and Jones will be looking to surpass Mike Wallace's five-year, $60 million contract.

Julius Thomas' value will be trickier. Similar to Jimmy Graham, he's as much of a receiver as a tight end. We suspect his annual average will come in around $7 million.

If Manning makes it through the end of his five-year contract in Denver, he will be throwing passes to Thomas and Thomas for the next three seasons.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" picks the best receiver group in the NFL, and goes deep previewing the season with Bucky Brooks.