As the NFL's 4 p.m. trade deadline approached on Tuesday, the Broncos got things started by trading wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Houston Texans. Together with other injuries, this leaves Houston with just four semi-healthy receivers, a hugely depleted secondary, and a linebacker core that is fast becoming a patchwork of free agents and special teams players.
This season Thomas has played in eight games with 36 receptions (56 targets) for 402 yards and three touchdowns.
The Broncos' warm feelings for Thomas might subside by Sunday when they kick off their Week 9 game against ... the Texans. But his hefty salary-cap figure for 2019 ($17.533 million in what is the previous year of his deal) and the emergence of rookie Courtland Sutton as a big-play threat had raised the possibility of Thomas being shipped elsewhere.
The Texans have a need at wide receiver after Will Fuller was lost for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, suffered during the team's win over the Dolphins on Thursday night.
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And Houston found Deshaun Watson a weapon of his own. The four-time Pro Bowl player has caught 60 touchdown passes in 125 career games.
But the Texans found a willing trade partner in Denver. According to ESPN, the teams will also swap seventh-round picks. One is the aforementioned Sutton.
Thomas, 30, had spent his entire nine-year career in Denver after being selected by the Broncos in the first round of the 2010 draft. He won a Super Bowl with Denver for the 2015 season. It's a no-brainer for the books.