Signifying the first big move to be announced in the hours counting down to the 4 p.m. NFL trade deadline on Tuesday, October 30, NFL Network insider Ian Rapaport broke the news that the Denver Broncos have dealt veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Houston Texans.
The Broncos formally announced the trade to its fanbase by taking to Twitter just after 2 p.m. to acknowledge Thomas as “the ultimate Bronco” and to thank him for his eight-and-a-half-year tenure with the organization. Representatives for the AFC West franchise have since confirmed that they have acquired a 2019 fourth-round draft pick and are working out the exchange of seventh-rounders for the five-time Pro-Bowl star.
“Demaryius had an incredible run here and we can’t thank him enough for everything he’s meant to the Broncos. He developed into an elite player over the years, establishing himself as one NFL’s most productive, consistent and reliable wide receivers. D.T. was a big part of so many wins and memorable moments as a Bronco,” Hall of Fame quarterback turned Broncos General Manager John Elway said in a statement released shortly after the deal was made.
As has been cited by ESPN, Thomas leaves Denver as its second-most prolific wideout in receiving yards, with 9,055, as well as in touchdown catches with 60. He now passes the torch on to Super Bowl 50 partner Emmanuel Sanders and rookie Courtland Sutton – who is expected to fill his shoes as the future face of the Broncos receiving corp.
“Although it’s tough to end this chapter, we’re excited about the talent we have at the wide receiver position and wish Demaryius all the best with the Texans,” said Elway.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 30, 2018
To the ultimate Bronco …
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 30, 2018
In Thomas, the Texans are getting a big-bodied playmaker who may be past his prime but should prove to be a dependable complement to the elite DeAndre Hopkins. His arrival comes at a vital time, seeing how Houston’s Thursday Night Football matchup against the Miami Dolphins saw their speedy deep threat Will Fuller go down with a season-ending tear to his ACL.
Thomas has racked up 36 receptions for 402 yards and three touchdowns through eight games. His numbers likely would have been good enough for Denver to keep him had the front office not been staring at the $17.533 million he will command in the final year of his contract in 2019.
The organization now turns its attention to the 6-foot-3 Sutton, who has so far made good on his second-round pick potential by recording 17 receptions for 324 yards while on the field for only 68.7 percent of the offensive snaps.