Trade deadline day is off to the races. We reportedly have our first big deal of the 2018 deadline, as the Houston Texans are finalizing a deal to acquire Demaryius Thomas from the Denver Broncos, according to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The Texans saw No. 2 receiver Will Fuller tear his ACL during the team’s win over the Miami Dolphins last Thursday, and have precious little depth behind star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Rookie slot man Keke Coutee is also still dealing with a recurrence of the hamstring injury that caused him to miss the first three games of the season.
Acquiring Thomas gives Deshaun Watson another weapon on the outside, though Thomas is obviously no longer at the peak of his powers. Once one of the handful of best wide receivers in all of football, Thomas’ production has slowed a bit in recent seasons. In Denver’s first eight games, he has 36 catches for 402 yards and three touchdowns.
Some of that reduced production is due to the struggles of Case Keenum and an up-and-down chemistry between quarterback and player, so it’s possible he could rebound quickly if he forms a better bond with Watson. There should be plenty of opportunity for him to see the ball in Houston’s offense, which tends to funnel targets through two or three players.
Thomas is currently in the fourth season of a five-year, $70 million contract, and he has the prorated portion of his $8.5 million base salary this season remaining on the deal, plus $14 million in base salary next season. The Texans can get out of the deal with minimal cap effect at the end of the 2018 league year, however.
In Denver, rookie wideout Courtland Sutton will presumably step into a larger role alongside Emmanuel Sanders. Sutton has been playing well of late and is obviously going to factor heavily into the team’s future plans.
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