The Denver Broncos have a lot of free agents to deal with; tight end Julius Thomas is one of them. Thomas's ankle injury last season caused him to miss three games and be far less effective than he was in his 2013 breakout season, so his health is a concern. But now, there's a bigger (alleged) complaint surfacing: Thomas cares about money more than a Super Bowl ring.
On Monday, Denver radio host Brandon Spano dropped a report on BSN Denver claiming that Thomas turned down an eight-million per year contract offer from the Broncos at the beginning of the season. (The important, unanswered questions: How many years? How much was guaranteed?) Spano also used an anonymous teammate's quote:
"Julius is here to get his money and get out," one teammate told me last week. "That's just how some guys are. He didn't grow up playing this game and it's just not in his DNA to put it all out there." When asked if Julius Thomas was soft like some say, he said, " where there's smoke, there's fire." According to the teammate, Julius Thomas was healthy enough to play multiple times last season but refused to. In one instance Julius Thomas was heard saying, "I'm about 90% – I'm getting close."
The NFL, as we know, is a lucrative business. Julius Thomas, as we also know, was a former college basketball player who played football for one season. The reason he was a tantalizing NFL receiving prospect was because he was tall, strong, and could catch the ball. What, exactly, is wrong with a tall and strong person utilizing their physical attributes to make money?
There's more. Apparently, Greg Thomas—Julius's father who occasionally drops spicy team takes on Twitter—saw the report aggregated on Broncos blog Mile High Report and defended his son's desire to want money and security over a championship. BSN Denver had the screencap of Greg's "feeble attempt to defend his son":
Yeah, Greg's ranting a bit, but the final paragraph is Truth. Julius spent four years on a rookie contract worth about $2 million, including the signing bonus. He broke out as Peyton Manning's bulky target. Thomas, who has dealt with injuries before, wants financial security. The Broncos are a team still figuring out if they can go for another Super Bowl run with Manning. A Super Bowl ring does not equal financial security. Sometimes, interests just don't overlap.