Julius Thomas the Wuss. Ever since the tight end became a prime free agency candidate, reports of Julius Thomas not being strong enough (in character or physically) to play the game in the NFL began to eek out.
Whether it was Shannon Sharpe freaking out about Thomas saying, “He quit on the Broncos making less than a mil. Give him 9 mil what would he do?” or Thomas openly turning down a Broncos offer for $8 million a year, the narrative surrounding Thomas very quickly went from him being a great tight end to him being a tight end who is all about the money, competing just for the money, not caring about his team, looking out for himself.
That kind of attitude is frowned upon in Broncos Nation and it tends to be frowned upon in most parts of the NFL. But you see players go after the money time and time again, choosing to sign with a different team, “abandoning” the team that brought them into the league. Does that mean a player like Julius Thomas quit on his team? Does that make him a wuss?
Listen, before we get too deep here we need to clarify something: football players are not wusses at all. They go out and they take bone-shattering hits on a regular basis and they put in hours and hours of work in strenuous conditions just to make sure their feet are in exactly the right spot and they move exactly the way the coach wants them to. It’s hard work, it’s dangerous work, and it’s a tough game to play. From physicality to strength of character, being strong matters in the NFL.
So, when we’re talking about Julius Thomas being a wuss, we’ve got to keep it in perspective: relative to what?
To me, this sounds an awful lot more like former Broncos players, the current franchise, and Broncos fans being more hurt about Thomas “abandoning the team” than anything else. Loyalty should be valued, but Thomas is hardly the only player to ever walk away from his team for more money. We’re not talking about break the bank type signings (looking at you, Ndamukong Suh), but rather players like Thomas who are quality players that just want a bit more with a different team than what their current team is offering.
Obviously, I’m happy Thomas is in Jacksonville. I think he’ll make a great addition for the Jaguars and he’ll help invigorate an offense that has struggled to get going in more than a couple games. He’s easily the most proven receiver on the team at the moment, even if some people have concerns.
There will continue to be rumors circulating around Thomas and the Broncos for a long time. There really is some bad blood that developed between Broncos Nation and their former star receiving tight end. The key to me, however, is John Elway and his perception of Thomas. He wanted his tight end to return and was willing to put up good money to do it. It just wasn’t what Thomas wanted and he walked. That’s his prerogative. Elway immediately moved on and locked up their next-best tight end.
The whole thing with Denver became a wild circus. That happens sometimes. We’ve got to keep in mind that the NFL is, first and foremost, a business. Thomas – who has some injury concerns – wanted more guaranteed money and got it. He didn’t get it from the Broncos. He’s trying to maximize his pay during his window of opportunity.
Can you blame him?
Walking away from the Broncos doesn’t make him a wuss. Walking away makes him smart.
He doesn’t deserve to be vilified for that.
More from Black and Teal
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways
- Jaguars News: The offense is in good shape for 2023
- NFL officially reinstates Jacksonville Jaguars WR Calvin Ridley: 3 immediate takeaways
- Derek Carr immediately makes Jaguars vs. Saints 2023 away game Must-Watch TV
- Jacksonville Jaguars fortify secondary in 4-round 2023 Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft