The Denver Broncos brought out the check book last Wednesday just before the 2 p.m. franchise tag deadline and made a bold move. They signed their play-making wide receiver, Demaryius Thomas to a giant five-year, $70 million deal. The impact of his contract will affect the team for years to come, especially at quarterback.

If you were immediately thinking of Peyton Manning that’s an understandable thought. The future Hall of Famer is surely still the starting quarterback and will remain so throughout the 2015-16 season. However, after another push for the Lombardi trophy by Manning his days maybe numbered. When the Broncos paid Thomas his truck load of money the team placed their bets on another horse. Brock Osweiler got a big time nod from John Elway and the brass and his era will begin with No. 88 out wide.

The length of D.T.’s contract says all you need to know about the team’s hopes for Osweiler. According to Mike Klis of 9News, the initial offer made to Thomas in early June was not for five long years but for seven, totaling approximately $100 million dollars.

Now whether you believe the rumors of the front office exploring trading Manning this offseason or are alarmed by his insistence of a “no-trade” clause being placed in his restructured deal for this season is irrelevant. Manning is 39 years old and likely has one realistic run left in him. Regardless of this season’s outcome No. 18’s odds of returning are no better than 50/50. You throw in the constraints of paying Thomas reportedly $13 million in 2016, trying to sign Von Miller to upwards of $14 million a year and looking at a 40-year old quarterback set to make $19 million someone has to go.

In steps Osweiler while the always humble Manning exits. Osweiler quietly has the confidence of Gary Kubiak and Elway and the addition of Thomas for the next five years solidified that. They seem to already be grooming him for the future. The same day the initial offer to Thomas was reportedly made; Osweiler was taking increased repetitions with the starting offense as Manning was forced to look on at organized team activities. Osweiler was pleasantly surprised with the change.

“I’m getting more reps than I ever had as a Bronco,” Osweiler said June 1 in reference to his brief time under Kubiak. “I’m getting twice what I usually get but it’s very valuable to a young player, especially in a new offense. You can only study so much in the class room. You need to get out to the grass and you need to go out and run those plays.”

Elway has stated over and over that he has been pleased with Osweiler’s progress and is looking to prove that selecting the quarterback 57th overall in 2012 was not a mistake. Elway will certainly be kicking the proverbial tires on Osweiler while holding onto most, if not all the negotiating leverage. While Osweiler, an unrestricted free agent in 2016, has learned and matured from three seasons in the NFL but has only thrown 30 passes in regular season games. His shot will certainly come but at a fraction of what the team is paying their current quarterback. Despite his brief time with Osweiler, Kubiak seems to be already optimistically looking toward No. 17’s future.

“We are very committed to Brock as a player. I have a lot of confidence in him,” Kubiak said just minutes after his post-draft press conference May 2.

Elway’s move to pay Thomas top-three receiver money is pretty out of character. His confidence and more importantly his need for Thomas years down the line showed through Wednesday.

“We are always planning for the future. Everyone talks about us winning now, and my point is that we want to win from now on,” Elway said with confidence just hours after signing Thomas.

Not only will Thomas be around for the Osweiler era but he will be the key to the young quarterback’s success. Elway is investing in Thomas as an appreciating asset and said as much Wednesday when he was asked about Thomas future even after the Manning years.

“I don’t think there’s any question that D.T. is one of the top wide receivers in the league and he’s being compensated that way now. It’s very well deserved on D.T.’s part. We have high expectations. We think he’s coming right into his prime and we don’t anticipate him backing up at all. The expectations are going to be increased now and we just think that he has all the skills. Plus with the type of person he is, he’s the type of player and guy that we want on the Denver Broncos.”

Osweiler could not ask for a better target to start his career and the team will likely be in their second or third year under Kubiak’s balanced attack. Osweiler, as Shannon Sharpe so astutely said to Bubby Brister during the 1999 Super Bowl run, just has to not crash the Ferrari. Thomas holds the keys to the ride and it will officially be Osweiler’s ride to drive. Osweiler will have all the weapons around him to succeed. and he will have Elway and Thomas in part to thank because they will have made it much, much easier after last week’s deal.

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