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'Do not rule out' Demaryius Thomas missing games

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Time is running out for the Denver Broncos and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to work out a long-term contract extension. Progress has been hard to come by, which means Thomas' absence could stretch all the way into September.

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"Do not rule out the possibility that Demaryius Thomas misses games," NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said on Tuesday's NFL Total Access. "This is very much in the realm of possibility."

The Broncos have until 4 p.m. ET Wednesday to sign Thomas, the team's franchise player, to a long-term extension. If that doesn't happen, Thomas must either play for his $12.8 million franchise tender or continue to stay away from the team. Rapoport added Wednesday morning that deal is not expected barring a signficant turn, per sources informed of the negotiations.

Rapoport said Tuesday it's clear Thomas will miss the start of training camp if he's unsigned, and there's a "very good chance" he'd miss all of camp. Skipping the $750,000 paychecks that come with each regular season game is a different matter. No franchise tagged player has missed games since Walter Jones sat out two weeks in 2002.

Rapoport noted that negotiations between the two sides have not been active, unlike with Dez Bryant and the Cowboys. It sounds like the Broncos and Thomas are far apart in negotiations. Rapoport reported the Broncos have offered "well over" $12 million-per-season, and they believe the offer is competitive and fair. A Broncos source tells Rapoport they believe they have done all they can, which is a sign there isn't likely to be a shiny new contract for Thomas Wednesday.

Somewhere in a room barely lit by flickering game film, Peyton Manning is gnashing his teeth.

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