The Houston Texans acquired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round pick and a swap of seventh-round picks, general manager John Elway confirmed Tuesday.
The New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans each reportedly made offers as well, but none approached the value of a fourth-round pick. The Eagles announced they had acquired Golden Tate from the Detroit Lions, reportedly for a third-round pick, shortly after the Thomas news broke.
Thomas’ name had been common in rumors and reports as Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline approached. The longest tenured player on the Broncos’ roster, he will coincidentally play his first game on a different team back in Denver, as the Texans visit the Broncos this Sunday.
The Texans needed another wide receiver with Will Fuller lost for the season after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament last Thursday. NFL Network reported that Houston is not necessarily done looking at wide receivers, as the Texans are still considering a trade for Patriots wideout Phillip Dorsett, who has barely played since New England acquired Josh Gordon.
Expendable in Denver
Thomas, who turns 31 on Christmas Day, has 36 catches for 402 yards and three touchdowns in eight games this season, but he became expendable with the emergence of second-round rookie Courtland Sutton in Denver. Denver also likes fourth-round wideout DaeSean Hamilton, who is dealing with a minor knee injury at the moment.
“With the youth we have at receiver, we wanted to get them on the field, and Demaryius goes to a team that wanted him,” Elway told 9News Denver of the trade. “It was best for both sides. We weren’t going to do this unless we got value. We weren’t taking less than a fourth.
“I told him he will always be a Bronco. I know he wanted to finish his career with the Broncos and that didn’t work out, but when he’s finished he’ll go up in our Ring of Fame.”
To the ultimate Bronco …
— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) October 30, 2018
The Broncos will save about $4 million against the cap this season and $14 million in 2019, the final year of Thomas’ five-year contract.
A first-round pick in 2010, Thomas went to four Pro Bowls and racked up 665 catches for 9,055 yards and 60 touchdowns in 125 career games (111 starts) with the Broncos. He ranks second in team history in receiving yards, third in catches and third in total touchdowns.
The deal leaves Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. as the longest tenured players on Denver’s roster. Miller was the No. 2 overall pick in 2011, while Harris joined the team that year as an undrafted free agent.
–Field Level Media