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Broncos To Franchise Demaryius Thomas, Allow Julius Thomas & Terrance Knighton To Test FA Market

According to sources that have spoken to Jason Cole, the Broncos are planning to use their franchise tag on WR Demaryius Thomas.

Cole mentions that Denver has “no intention” of allowing Thomas to field offers from prospective teams this March.

This would allow them to keep him under team control for the next year, but Cole expects them to continue working on a long-term contract this offseason.

Interestingly enough, Cole’s sources have said that Denver is expected to allow TE Julius Thomas and DT Terrance Knighton to test the open market.

Cole expects the Broncos to make “very little” attempt to lock up either player before free agency in underway. Although, he does expect the Broncos evaluate the offers they receive from interested teams and reevaluate their situations from there.

One concern for Thomas is the fact that he only had five catches over the final seven games of the season.

Knighton reportedly played 40 pounds over weight for the entire 2014 season, so his conditioning could be a concern for the Broncos.

Demaryius, 27, is clearly one of the best receivers in the game and has earned a sizable raise from the Broncos. He’s finishing up the final year of his rookie contract and made $3.275 million for the 2014 season.

Over the course of 12 games, Thomas has caught 111 passes for 1,619 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 5 receiver in the league out of 110 qualifying players.

Julius, 26, may have had a disappointing end to the season, but he still caught 43 passes for 489 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns over the course of 13 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 13 tight end in the league out of 67 qualifying players.

Knighton, 28, put together a solid 2014 season for the Broncos and should be in demand if he’s able to test the open market in March.

In 2014, Knighton appeared in all 16 games and recorded 30 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and three pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 12 defensive tackle in the league out of 81 qualifying players.

We have all three players listed in our Top 50 Free Agents list.