In a previous article I wrote about the possibility of Demaryius Thomas being traded, although I fancied him to land in New England, I did get the draft value right for him (4th round pick). Thomas was one of the likelier players to be traded given his age and value against the cap in Denver. So, let’s take a deeper look at the full ins and outs of Thomas’s move to the Houston Texans.
From the Denver Broncos side, this trade made perfect sense to move the veteran wide receiver on from his time in Denver. Thomas was due to enter his final and most expensive season (2019) of his $70 million contract extension that he signed in 2015. $17.5 million of the $70 million was due next year but now he has departed the Broncos will save this in cap space. So, from the financial side you can see why Denver were happy with the 4th round pick (also swapped 7th round picks too) from the Texans.
Given that the Cowboys gave up a 1st round pick for Amari Cooper, this is unbelievable value for Bill O’Brien. With the departure of Thomas there leaves a void to be filled, step forward Courtland Sutton.
The 40th overall pick of the 2018 draft has big shoes to fill but has hit the ground running (17-234-2). Thomas has been the consummate professional in helping the rookie wide receiver since his arrival in Denver and has spoken highly of the talented Sutton. Things are looking up both on and off the pitch for the three-time Super Bowl champions.
That’s the Denver side of the trade, now to see how the Texans faired and whether they feel as happy as the Broncos do.
At the beginning of the season the Texans looked set at the wide receiver position. Although this didn’t last as their first round pick from 2016, Will Fuller, struggled to stay healthy.
A torn ACL in his right knee ended his season last week against the Dolphins. Keke Coutee also popped up on the injury report recently forcing the Texans to take to the trade market. So, the need for a wide receiver was a top priority and with the Texans being legitimate contenders in the AFC it’s easy to see why they went after Thomas. Bill O’Brien has always been a fan of Thomas, ‘I’ve been watching him for a long time, since he was at Georgie Tech and since he’s been in the NFL’, he also praised him as a route runner, ‘excellent athletic skills, great hands, really good route runner. He’s a tough guy to defend’.
With Watson under centre, Thomas is set to have the talent and quality that he last experienced in 2015 when ‘The Sheriff’, Peyton Manning was tossing him pigskins and winning him a Super Bowl. The Texans defence is solid, and the backbone of the team and they will hope the addition of Thomas is just what they need to push them towards Atlanta and a first Super Bowl.
This trade has the feel of an all-round win for everyone. The Broncos get a huge chunk of cap space freed up, the Texans get a legit wide receiver and Thomas gets to play along side a talented QB in Deshaun Watson. Just to add a bit of spice to the trade, these two AFC rivals face off against each other at Mile High on Sunday afternoon.