Broncos general manager John Elway said Wednesday that the team would exercise Thomas' $4 million team option for 2018, which triggers the final two years of the five-year, $70 million contract extension he signed in the summer of 2015, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports.

There had been some speculation that the Broncos might request Thomas take a pay cut during the offseason in order to free up money to address needs elsewhere on the roster, but Elway's comments suggest Denver still views the 30-year-old as a quality No. 1 wideout, even after a down season in 2017. Elway also indicated that fellow starting receiver Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) would be retained in 2018, leaving the Broncos to perhaps make some tough roster cuts on defense if they're serious about making a run at one of the free-agent quarterbacks set to hit the market in mid-March. With none of the three signal callers who started games for the Broncos in 2017 -- Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian (shoulder) and Brock Osweiler -- showcasing much potential, it's likely that the team's Week 1 starter for the upcoming season isn't yet on the roster. Until that position is settled, Thomas' odds of bouncing back in 2018 will remain muddled.

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