ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) The Denver Broncos have placed their franchise tag on star receiver Demaryius Thomas, guaranteeing him roughly $12.8 million next season and buying them more time to work out a long-term deal.
General manager John Elway used that same tactic before re-signing kicker Matt Prater and left tackle Ryan Clady before training camp in recent years.
Selected 22nd overall in 2010 out of Georgia Tech, Thomas has made the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons with Peyton Manning at quarterback.
Thomas could always signal his displeasure with the move by waiting to sign the tender and skipping offseason workouts that begin the first week of April. If Thomas doesn't sign a long-term contract, the Broncos could use the franchise tag on him again next year.