Julius Thomas Smeared by Denver Radio Host Report


Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas was dealing with an ankle injury over the course of the final month of the 2014 season, returning for the stretch run that culminated with the AFC West champions losing in their first playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts in what was potentially Thomas’ final game with the team in what is a contract year for the emerging star. That final game in at Mile High Stadium appears to be a guarantee of being Thomas’ last with the Broncos as with the tight end wanting a payday after two highly productive seasons unnamed sources in Denver are coming out to smear what they believe to be their former teammate.

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Earlier this week a report from Denver radio host Brandon Spano indicated that those in the Broncos locker room have animosity towards Thomas wanting to make the most of his market value and sitting out games rather than playing hurt as the tight end is set to test the open market as likely the top tight end available for NFL teams to bid on.

According to Spano’s report, Thomas turned down an alleged $8 million per year contract from the Broncos this season before entering 2014 in a contract year where he put up 12 touchdown catches for the second straight season despite his ankle injury slowing him down during the second half of the year. That ankle injury slowed down Thomas, who saw his catches drop from 65 to 43 in 2014 and his receiving yards drop to 489 yards as well even if he was the same dangerous red zone threat for Peyton Manning that he was the year before.

However because Thomas was willing to let his body heal during the regular season, unnamed team sources are claiming that the tight end doesn’t have the DNA to “put it all out there” for the Broncos or any other team. According to Spano’s report it appears that someone on the Broncos roster has the sentiment that Thomas would rather get paid than play in Denver, something that may be true and has led to some hard feelings based on the quotes given.

From Spano’s report:

"“Julius is here to get his money and get out,” one teammate told me last week. “That’s just how some guys are. He didn’t grow up playing this game and it’s just not in his DNA to put it all out there.” When asked if Julius Thomas was soft like some say, he said, ” where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” According to the teammate, Julius Thomas was healthy enough to play multiple times last season but refused to. In one instance Julius Thomas was heard saying, “I’m about 90% – I’m getting close.”To most NFL players, 90% is as good as new. Most can’t fathom the idea of sitting out at 90%. We would eventually find out that Peyton Manning, at 38 years old, played with a torn quad. To think that Julius Thomas put himself before the team, angered some players. “You have guys taking shots just to get through the half and this dude can’t even play with a minor sprain” one teammate told me. “You can’t win with guys like that,” he added."

There is no way of knowing if Thomas truly was able to play, or if he was trying to heal himself to make a playoff push while the Broncos were already in the position to make the playoffs after sitting Weeks 12-14 before coming back for a road game against the San Diego Chargers Week 15. When Thomas did return, it was quite clear he was battling a legit ankle injury as he was less explosive and also was used primarily as a decoy even in the weeks that followed against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football as well as Week 17 against the Raiders.

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  • The report of Thomas being offered $8 million from the Broncos at the start of the season is interesting as there is a good chance that he did in fact turn down the opportunity to make a strong extension from his current team for the opportunity at greater earnings in 2015 NFL Free Agency if he matched his 2013 production. Thomas did exactly that in matching his touchdown total from the year before, and it appears that as he is set to leave the door there is some animosity out of Denver about what is unfolding.

    This of course plays right into the hands of the Broncos direct rivals in the Raiders, who could lure Thomas with the money he wants along with the opportunity to play the team that is slighting him in the media twice a season. Thomas deserves to get paid, catching 24 touchdowns over two seasons, and he will get paid. The only question is if the Broncos regret letting him walk along with having unnamed players smear him in the media. If he stays in the AFC West, that is a distinct possibility as Thomas is no doubt going to be upset at the quotes that have leaked out of the Broncos locker room this week accusing him of being soft along with being only in it for the money for wanting to get paid for his talents in free agency.