Looking for evidence that the NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” league? Look no further than Demaryius Thomas, who was dropped out of the top 50 players for 2016 by his peers on the NFL Network’s annual “Top 100 Players” rankings.

Thomas, who was voted by fellow NFL players as the 20th best player in the league coming off a 2014 season in which he posted 1,619 yards and 11 touchdowns, dropped 42 positions for this year’s list to No. 62 overall.

On the list, which is current through the top 61, only Jamaal Charles and Andrew Luck had larger drops than Thomas. And both of them missed much (or most) of the season because of injury.

But was such a drop warranted for Thomas?

Yes, his numbers were down in 2015 – but he was also playing with the second-worst quarterbacking outfit in the league. His six touchdowns were a team best, but tied for just 29th in the league (on a team that ranked 28th in passing touchdowns). He still managed to rank seventh among all wide receivers in both receptions and yards, however. And he joined one of the most exclusive clubs for wide receivers in NFL history.

With 105 receptions and 1,304 yards in 2015, Thomas joined Marvin Harrison (5) and Jerry Rice (4) as one of only three wide receivers in league history to post four consecutive seasons with at least 90 receptions and 1,300 yards.

Both Harrison and Rice are in the Hall of Fame.

In the NFL Network broadcast, 2015 teammate Vernon Davis, an 11-year pro, said, “Demaryius Thomas is of the best in this league … he has all the attributes that a big-time receiver could possibly have. He’s big. He’s fast. He can get in and out of his routes.”

It’s not just Thomas’ teammates who see that exceptional talent, either. Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree has witnessed his greatness twice a year since Thomas came into the league in 2010.

“It’s an eight-yard stop, stiff-arm the cornerback, jet down the sideline,” Crabtree said, describing the dangerous plays Thomas is capable of making. “You see him after the catch, that boy’s making moves like a running back. Nothing against the cornerback, but I’m going to take 88 every time.”

One of those defensive backs, eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro Charles Woodson, has been tasked with stopping Thomas twice a year over that same time.

“He’s saying, ‘Look, I’m bigger… I’m faster… I’m better than you… This ball is meant for me and I’m going to get it,'” Woodson said about the challenge of lining up across from Thomas.

So with all that praise for Thomas, why would he drop from the top 20 all the way outside of the top 50?

Thomas was a top-10 receiver again in 2015, but he is also tied for fourth in the league in average annual salary at his position after landing a five-year, $70 million contract with $43.5 guaranteed. As such, he was expected to take his game to an even higher level. When that didn’t happen – as he (and the entire Broncos offense) struggled in the early parts of the season – and as the criticism grew louder, Thomas’ performance began to suffer even more. By the end of the season, he was in a bona fide funk. In the playoffs, he was almost non-existent.

Thomas hauled in just 17 catches over the final three weeks of the season. His saving grace was a 72-yard touchdown from Brock Osweiler in the season finale, but that was on the first scoring drive of the game. He caught just one pass in the second half of that game.

During Denver’s three playoff wins, including Super Bowl 50, Thomas fared even worse. He scored zero touchdowns and caught just six passes. Two years removed from setting a Super Bowl record for receptions, he had just one in the win in Santa Clara.

That performance, with the whole world watching, had to be on the minds of NFL players when they dropped Thomas outside the top 50 for this year’s list.

Luckily for Thomas, he’ll have everyone’s full attention again when the Broncos and Panthers play the NFL season opener on Sept. 8. In the ultimate what have you done for me lately league, his performance that night will be the only thing that matters moving forward.