While the Broncos and the two players have yet to reach agreements that would keep them in Denver for the foreseeable future, Elway plans on continuing negotiations in the coming weeks.
“Nothing is going to get done before camp, but we’ll keep talking to them in camp,” Elway told USA TODAY Sports.
Elway expects talks to continue until early August and is hoping to get both deals worked out.
“I’m never going to go into the season, but the first couple of weeks, we can continue to talk about it,” Elways said. “After the second week of the preseason, we’ll want to have had something done, one way or another.”
It’s worth mentioning that Denver refused to continue discussing a long-term deal with LT Ryan Clady into the season, but later used the franchise tag on him and eventually reached an agreement before the July deadline.
Interestingly enough, Elway specifically stated that Julius is not on the same level as Saints’ TE Jimmy Graham, which is a pretty clear indication that they won’t be willing to match Graham’s salary in their offer to Thomas.
“Even though Julius had a tremendous year for us, he’s only (played) 23 games. We want Julius to be a Bronco for a long time and we think he has tremendous upside, but he’s not at that level,” Elway said.
Demaryius Thomas, 26, is clearly one of the best receivers in the game and has earned a sizable raise from the Broncos. As things stand right now, he will make $3.275 million during the final year of his rookie contract.
According to OverTheCap.com’s 2015 cap space figures, the Broncos look to be in decent shape financially, so they could easily sign Thomas to a competitive deal and still have room to address Julius Thomas.
Last year, Demaryius caught 92 passes for 1,430 yards receiving and a career-high 14 touchdowns over the course of 16 games.
Julius Thomas, 25, is coming off of an incredible season and would clearly be a very coveted player on the open market next year, so it makes plenty of sense for the Broncos to actively work on a extension now.
In 2013, he totaled 65 receptions for 788 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns.