NFL Rumors: Here’s Why Patriots’ Demaryius Thomas Trade Offer Fell Short

The New England Patriots didn’t acquire Demaryius Thomas at the NFL trade deadline, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.
The Denver Broncos reportedly have traded Thomas and a seventh-round draft pick to the Houston Texans in exchange for fourth- and seventh-round picks. According to Mike Klis of Denver’s 9News, the Texans beat out three competitors to land Thomas: the Philadelphia Eagles, Tennessee Titans and Patriots.

Texans give up 4th round pick in 2019 and teams swap 7th round picks for Demaryius Thomas. New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles made offers and were close. Tennessee Titans came in late with offer. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) October 30, 2018

New England reportedly was in the market for a “bona fide” receiver, and Thomas fits that bill. So, what did the Patriots offer Denver for the veteran wideout? NFL Network’s Mike Giardi offered some insight Tuesday afternoon.

#Patriots stayed in on Demaryius Thomas throughout. League source believes Pats request for Broncos to eat money on the trade led Denver to go in a different direction. A competitive offer but not – obviously – enough.

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— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) October 30, 2018

According to Giardi, it appears New England asked the Broncos to absorb some of Thomas’ salary, which isn’t cheap: The 31-year-old is making $8.5 million this year and is set to receive $14 million in base salary in 2019, the final year of his contract.
The Texans, who just lost receiver Will Fuller V for the season, likely were a little more desperate to add a pass-catcher and meet Denver’s asking price. They’ll take on $4.5 million of Thomas’ contract, per Klis.

Houston Texans pick up $4.5 million of Demaryius Thomas' $8.5 million salary. Wouldn't think Texans will pay D.T.'s non-guaranteed $14 million salary for 2019 but that's for dynamic reporter duo @McClain_on_NFL and @AaronWilson_NFL to handle now. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) October 30, 2018

That means it’s back to the drawing board for the Patriots, who reportedly may even give up a receiver before the 4 p.m. ET deadline.