D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution expects the Falcons to be among the interested teams in Broncos free agent TE Julius Thomas this offseason.
Ledbetter adds that the Falcons want to upgrade the tight end position in the coming months, and Thomas is clearly the best available player.
Yesterday, Mike Klis of the Denver Post, reported that while the Broncos will meet with the representatives for a number of free agent players, there is currently no meeting scheduled with Thomas’ agent, Frank Bauer.
Klis takes this as a sign that the odds of Thomas returning the Broncos next year aren’t promising.
The Broncos reportedly offered Thomas a multi-year contract that would have paid him an annual salary of $8 million last year, and would leave him as the No. 3 highest paid tight end in the league behind Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski.
However, it appears as though Thomas was looking for an even better deal.
Thomas is in a very strong position, seeing as he’ll be the best available tight end in free agency this year. On top of that, teams will have plenty of money to spend, so if that’s a priority for him, there is a decent chance he could come close to or even beat that previous offer.
One concern regarding Thomas is the fact that he only had five catches over the final seven games of the season.
Thomas, 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.
We have Thomas listed as the No. 9 player in our Top 75 Free Agents list.