Denver Broncos trade WR Demaryius Thomas to Houston Texans

The Houston Texans found a replacement for one of their key offensive contributors, and the Denver Broncos bid farewell to their longest-tenured player.

The Broncos have trade wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Texans for a third-round pick and a swap of seventh-round picks, the Broncos confirmed.

Thomas is poised to face his old team in his Texans debut, as Denver hosts Houston on Sunday.

“Demaryius had an incredible run here and we can’t thank him enough for everything he’s meant to the Broncos," Broncos general manager John Elway said in a statement. "He developed into an elite player over the years, establishing himself as one NFL’s most productive, consistent and reliable wide receivers. D.T. was a big part of so many wins and memorable moments as a Bronco. Although it’s tough to end this chapter, we’re excited about the talent we have at the wide receiver position and wish Demaryius all the best with the Texans.”

The Texans, who have surged to the top of the AFC South with five straight wins after an 0-3 start, lost deep threat Will Fuller to a torn anterior cruciate ligament after last Thursday's win over the Dolphins. In adding Thomas to its receiving corps, Houston gives Deshaun Watson another weapon while taking some pressure off top target DeAndre Hopkins and rookie Keke Coutee.

Thomas, 30, has had diminishing production for the Broncos since 2014, though the team's quarterback play has also taken a hit since then. He had 36 catches for 402 yards and three touchdowns this season.

The four-time Pro Bowl selection said Sunday he believed there were "50-50" odds he was traded by Tuesday's deadline.

Thomas' departure opens the door for second-round pick Courtland Sutton to receive even more opportunities. The rookie posted a season-high 78 yards on three catches last week against the Chiefs.

Thomas has one year remaining on his contract and is set to have a $17.5 million cap hit in 2019.

Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.

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