Julius Thomas is in line to receive a substantial raise in pay after a breakout season with Denver last season and the Broncos tight end is paying close attention to the ongoing case involving New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham.
Graham was given the franchise tag by the Saints with the tight end designation which pays approximately $5 million less than receivers who are given the franchise tag and Graham is arguing that because he lined up as a receiver more than he did a tight end, he is entitled to the number given to receivers.
Depending on what happens with Graham could have an impact on Thomas who plays a similar role to that of Graham and often lines up in the slot or flexed out wide in the Broncos record-breaking offense and could play into the negotiations he and the Broncos are currently having.
“I’ve kind of been keeping … an eye on that situation, obviously, because it could probably come back to affect a lot of us tight ends,” said Thomas, via Arnie Stapleton of the Associated Press. “But the way I feel about it is, ‘Does two letters next to your name on the depth chart really determine your value to a team?‘”
“Does it matter if he’s a tight end, or if he calls himself a slot receiver or a running back?” Thomas said. “I mean, if you’re going to have double-digit touchdowns and contribute a bunch of yards in the receiving game, I just say that you’re a guy that makes great plays and are a value to your team. So I don’t know why the argument necessarily comes down to either you’re a tight end or a receiver. I think that if you’re a guy that makes plays, that’s how you should be valued.”
Thomas recorded 65 receptions for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013 and is scheduled to be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season.