Denver Broncos “joker” tight end Julius Thomas burst out onto the scene in the team’s Week 1 domination over the Baltimore Ravens, as Orange Julius caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. He never looked back, as he finished the year with 65 receptions for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 games, establishing himself as one of the NFL’s premier pass-catching tight ends and red zone threats. With more experience and improvements as a route-runner and blocker, Thomas should be even more dangerous next year, and we’re all looking forward to his follow-up season.
Larry Brown Sports recently interviewed the Broncos versatile weapon, and he stated that he sees himself in Denver for the long haul but made sure to give the “but it’s a business” line. Thomas said, “Absolutely. I love Denver. It’s a great city. I really love that franchise, fan base, I would look forward to being there for a long time. But it’s business. We’ll see what happens.”
Just 26, Thomas is heading into the final year of his contract after his breakout 2013 campaign, and I think we can upgrade the adjective to “monster” when projecting his 2014 totals. This is a guy who can generate mis-matches all over the field, and he deserves big money on his next deal.
John Elway stated that he doesn’t deserve Jimmy Graham money, and I agree with that. But just because he isn’t as good as the best “joker” TE in the league, it doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t command a great deal of money. He’s young, has a high ceiling, and “move” tight ends are becoming a key part of high-octane passing attacks. He’s going to get paid, and, since I like seeing players re-sign with teams and build a legacy there, hopefully it’s the Broncos who end up giving him his due.