Julius Thomas, Oakland Raiders Rumors Grow


Dec 14, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas (80) makes a catch while defended by San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) during the first quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Thomas of the Denver Broncos has officially became the first high profile free agent of the 2015 class to become attached to the Oakland Raiders as the tight end is expected to hit the market and could have the Bay Area franchise high on his list of potential destinations.

Thomas, who has enjoyed two big seasons with the Broncos catching passes from Peyton Manning, went on 95.7 The Game (the Raiders flagship station) and admitted that it is a possibility that he could sign with the Raiders come free agency should John Elway allow him to hit the free market. That was expanded upon further by ESPN NFL analyst John Clayton on 95.7 The Game as pointed out by Raiders blogger James Arcellana.

Denver based NFL analyst Benjamin Allbright feels that Thomas is on his way out of Denver and that he along with defensive tackle Terrance Knighton could be a package deal that makes their way across the division to the Raiders once free agency begins.

When it comes to Thomas (and Knighton) Raiders fans will need to wait and see what happens once the free agency period opens even if it appears likely that both sides could be interested in one another based on a variety of reasons. The talented tight end has drawn criticisms for having inflated stats thanks to Peyton Manning, but when it comes to offensive weapons at the position there is little arguing that Thomas will have the highest upside of the 2015 Free Agent tight ends should he hit the open market.

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Because of that the Raiders would be wise to pursue as Derek Carr can take all of the weapons he can get after showing promise in his rookie season with little to work with. Adding Thomas would open up the passing game significantly for Carr and with the team exploring the hurry up offense the tight end could realistically slide into a role that could minimize his run blocking weaknesses. If Thomas was able to focus on his strengths as a route runner that can open up the entire offense for his team the move would be a high impact one for general manager Reggie McKenzie come free agency.

Regardless Thomas is a tight end with 12 touchdowns in each of the past two years that would give the Raiders a true number one at the position for the first time since Zach Miller was in Oakland. It appears that there is a real chance that it happens, so expect Thomas to be one of the first players on Reggie McKenzie’s list of free agents to pursue when the window officially opens.