Legwold expects Thomas to draw interest on the open market from teams who see him as a “priority target.”
Numerous reports have said that the Broncos will end up using their franchise tag on Demaryius Thomas, which means Julius is in a great position to be among the most sought after players in free agency.
A few weeks ago, Thomas was asked about the possibility of him taking a hometown discount to return to the Broncos. Thomas unsurprisingly seemed to dodge the question.
“To say whether I would give them a hometown discount — what is a hometown discount?” Thomas said on Friday. “I guess it depends on what the market is at the time and determining what’s a discount, what’s fair? And having to see it. It’s hard to speculate and say, ‘This what I will do. This is what I won’t do’ without knowing what’s going to be on the table, what’s going to be in front of you. So you really need — I have a great agent in Frank Bauer and they’re going to work through it and make sure everything is right. It’s not always about the ending dollar. Sometimes it’s about the contract language. So a lot more goes into it that people think than just, ‘Oh, no, this is the money amount.’ There’s a lot more complexity in those contracts.”
Jason Cole of the Bleacher Report previously mentioned that he expects the Broncos to make “very little” attempt to lock him up before free agency in underway. Although, Cole added that the Broncos could reevaluate the situation once offers start coming in for Thomas.
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. 5 player in our Top 75 Free Agents list.