Demaryius Thomas spent the first eight-plus years of his NFL career with the Denver Broncos, and following his trade to the Houston Texans last week, the veteran is "hurt" by the way his tenure in the Mile High City ended.
Thomas recently went on 760 AM and said: "It just hurt me. I'm emotional. I'm empty. I'm empty still," per ESPN's Jeff Legwold.
He also felt misled (h/t 9News' Mike Klis):
"Before the season started, the trade talk was still going, and nobody said anything to me. Why come to me Monday when it's the same talk? When [Denver coach Vance Joseph] said that to me, I said, 'How is it not true? My agent [Todd France] called me today and said [general manager John Elway] wanted a fifth-round pick for me.' So, we're telling stories to each other now? I thought we were going to be men about this.
"...Listening to that from him and then another couple of coaches coming up to me saying, 'It's all fake; it's all fake,' and then it really happens, it's like, 'Man.' It is what it is, though."
The 2010 first-round pick, who was the longest-tenured member of the Broncos, also believes the team was "so disrespectful" by giving some of his snaps to rookie DaeSean Hamilton, who Thomas has nothing but "love" for. While the 30-year-old Thomas said he remained a team player, he also felt the organization did him wrong by not naming him a team captain despite the players allegedly voting for him.
Thomas said he has tried to move on, but he has heard the Broncos' decision-makers believed he was to blame for some of the offense's struggles. That didn't sit well with him:
"You know what bothers me—I don't want to stir any pot—but it bothers me...I had people from Denver saying like, 'They really said they got rid of you because you were the problem on offense, and they said they wanted to better the offense. I'm like, 'Really, bro?' People just kept stirring it on.
"I heard they were saying that Vance was saying something, and Elway was saying something. I did so much for this organization and never had nothing bad to say about anybody—none of the players I played with. I just did my job and kept it as professional as I could. For you all to say that I was one of the reasons that the offense wasn't going, and say this and that, man, that hurt."
Even though his time in Denver ended on a low note, Thomas said "it was an honor" to play for the Broncos. With five Pro Bowl selections and a Super Bowl championship, he has plenty of fond memories.
It's time for him to move on, and he was able to start the process by hauling in three catches for 61 yards in a 19-17 victory over Denver in his first game with Houston. Now, the focus is on helping the 6-3 Texans make the playoffs and compete for a Super Bowl.