The Denver Broncos and Demaryius Thomas have exchanged contract proposals, as the team is under the pressure of running out time to sign the star wide receiver to a long term deal.

Thomas has the franchise tag on him, worth $12.8 million. However, he’s looking for a deal that will earn him more than $16 million a season, as he, and every other wide receiver out there, is comparing the upcoming deal to what Calvin Johnson signed with the Detroit Lions a few years ago. There’s also the matter of how much guaranteed money is part of the contract.

Image: Source

Image: Source

Sources suggest the deal being offered to Thomas is bigger than what Mike Wallace got from the Miami Dolphins at the time, and is going to pay him more than $12 million a season with over $30 million in guaranteed money. However, Thomas is expecting more, because the salary cap is now above $143 million.

The Broncos aren’t eager to agree to his demands, despite his numbers since Peyton Manning became the team’s quarterback (1494 yards, 12 touchdowns per season since 2012) and making three Pro Bowl selections. Maybe because Manning is the one throwing to him, the Broncos know Thomas isn’t going to be paid this well anywhere else.

There’s also a matter of thinking ahead. Manning took a paycut to help out this season, but he’s still a $15 million cap hit. He’ll be making $19 million in the 2016 season if he doesn’t retire. Pass rushing star Von Miller is a free agent at the end of this season and he won’t be taking anything less than $14 million a season.

There’s also the matter of Super Bowl winning teams usually not spending most of their money on wide receivers. Add all that up and you see why the Broncos aren’t jumping to sign whatever it is Thomas wants them to sign. He’s not making threats like Dez Bryant is, but Thomas feels like he should be paid like the best wide receiver in the league, something a few other guys feel about themselves as well.