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Julius Thomas pricing himself out of new Denver Broncos contract

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The Denver Broncos look set to allow one of last season's key men on offense, tight end Julius Thomas, leave the franchise this summer.

The 26-year-old is one of a number of Broncos set to enter free agency this offseason and reports today suggest that Thomas is pricing himself out of a new contract in Denver - ESPN's Jeff Legwold stating that the 26-year-old has told the franchise he expects to become one of the "highest-paid tight ends" in the NFL.

Sky high demands

New Orleans Saints' Jimmy Graham is currently the top paid tight end, earning $10 million per year. Recently crowned Super Bowl champ Rob Gronkowski is close behind, with $9 million.

With Denver swaying toward using the franchise tag on wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, and new head coach Gary Kubiak set to implement a more run-heavy offense that isn't particularly suited to the TE's skill set, it is highly unlikely that the Broncos will put up the money Julius Thomas is demanding.

Thomas produced a second consecutive 12-touchdown season last time out and was on course for a record-breaking year at one point before injuries derailed his 2014 campaign.

Indeed it is Thomas' injury hit past (he has never played more than 14 games in an NFL season and missed the entire 2012 campaign) that seems to have put off the Denver front office from putting up the big bucks this summer.

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Added to that Thomas' less than stellar ability to block for the running back - a key element of any Kubiak offense - and all signs point to Thomas heading for a new team in 2015.

Likely offers

Circumstances dictate that Julius Thomas may not have a future as a Denver Broncos player, but he is likely to receive some big offers from elsewhere in the coming months.

Some have put his impressive back to back seasons down to being on the receiving end of Peyton Manning's arm, but regardless he has put up top tight end numbers in recent times.

As such the likes of the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers - both teams lacking at the TE position - have been highlighted as potential landing spots.

With the futures of Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas also yet to be decided, it certainly looks like an offensive overhaul in Denver isn't out of the question.

What do you think Broncos fans? Does Julius Thomas deserve to be paid like Jimmy Graham, or should the Broncos let him go and use the money elsewhere? Let us know in the comments section below...

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