Updated: March 2, 2015, 4:09 PM ET

By
Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com

Broncos To Use Franchise Tag On WR Demaryius Thomas
The Denver Broncos on Monday placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
Thomas’ Numbers Padded By PeytonDemaryius Thomas’ career has benefited from the arrival of Peyton Manning. Over the past three seasons, only Calvin Johnson (4,533) has more receiving yards than Thomas (4,483). 2010-112012-14Rec.54297Rec yards8344,483Rec. TD635– ESPN Stats & Information
John Elway had said at the scouting combine that the Broncos would issue a franchise tender to Thomas if the sides could not negotiate a long-term deal. Elway has said he could see a scenario where Thomas got the franchise tag and then the two sides reached an agreement at some point after free agency begins March 10, when the contracts started to come in.
“This is another step in our efforts to extend Demaryius’ contract and ensure he remains a Denver Bronco,” Elway said in a statement announcing the Broncos’ move. “We will continue working toward a long-term agreement with Demaryius, who is a very important part of our team.”
The designation will mean the Broncos captain will get a one-year, guaranteed deal for the average of the top five salaries at his position. This year that figure will be $12.823 million as part of the salary cap being set a $143.28 million. The deal would be fully guaranteed the moment Thomas signs it.
The non-exclusive tag means Thomas can solicit offers from other teams and the Broncos would then have the right to match.
The Broncos would almost certainly match any offer Thomas would receive. Any team that would potentially sign Thomas would have to make a contract big enough to deter Denver, a tall order, and send the Broncos its next two first-round picks.
Calvin Johnson has the largest contract for any wide receiver in the league, a seven-year, $113 million deal he signed in 2012 that is significantly back-loaded and includes $48.8 million in guaranteed money. Andre Johnson 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 and Mike Wallace signed a five-year, $60 million deal ($30 million guaranteed) in 2013.
[+] EnlargeDoug Pensinger/Getty ImagesDemaryius Thomas had 1,619 yards receiving last season, setting a Broncos single-season franchise record.
Demaryius and Julius Thomas are the Broncos’ highest-profile free agents this year, and the team tried to negotiate with both over the past year with Demaryius … – Click Here To Visit Article Source