Demaryius Thomas to skip workouts

ByJeff Legwold via ESPN logo
Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Demaryius Thomas said he will not attend the Broncos' offseason program and added he will not take part in workouts at Duke University with quarterback Peyton Manning and the team's other wide receivers.

The Broncos, who designated Thomas as their franchise player earlier this month, open their offseason program on April 13. The Broncos and Thomas' representatives have been working on a long-term deal.

Thomas spoke by phone Monday from an XBox/"Call of Duty" event to benefit veterans in Los Angeles. Asked if he intended to take part in Manning's annual workouts at Duke, Thomas said he is "not going to go to Duke."

Asked then if he would be at the Broncos' offseason program, Thomas said he would "pass on that, too."

"I'll be back in Georgia, trying to get the body right, get the ankle right," he said. "Then when it's time to go, make sure I'm 100 percent ready to go."

It is common for players who have had the franchise player tag placed on them to not attend offseason workouts. The last two Broncos players to have been tagged as franchise players -- left tackle Ryan Clady and kicker Matt Prater -- each received new long-term deals before training camp opened in those years.

Thomas has not signed the one-year, $12.823 million tender offer as a franchise player. The contract would be guaranteed the moment Thomas signed it.

Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway has repeatedly said he hopes to get a long-term deal worked out with Thomas so "he's a Bronco for a long time."

"I hope so -- my agent is dealing with that right now," Thomas said. "I'm in the loop, but I'm letting Elway and my agent handle that, come up with something."

Thomas added that if no deal was worked out, he would eventually sign the franchise player tender and work toward "helping us get to the Super Bowl" in the coming season.

Calvin Johnson has the largest contract for any wide receiver in the league -- a seven-year, $113 million deal he signed in 2012 that includes $48.8 million in guaranteed money. Andre Johnson, who was released by the Houston Texans earlier this month, signed a seven-year, $67.8 million deal in 2010, while Percy Harvin signed a six-year, $64.2 million deal ($14.5 million guaranteed) in 2013.

Since the start of the 2011 season, the 27-year-old Thomas is second in the NFL with 28 100-yard receiving games in the regular season and postseason combined, including 10 100-yard games last season. His 226 yards in the Broncos' Oct. 5 win over the Arizona Cardinals is a franchise record for a single game, and his 1,619 yards receiving last season set a single-season franchise record.

Thomas has had three consecutive seasons with at least 92 receptions, 1,430 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. He is only the third player in league history to have three consecutive seasons of at least 1,400 yards receiving and at least 10 touchdowns; Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison are the others.

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