Originally written on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 2/17/12

Name: Marcus Thomas Height, Weight: 6’3″, 316 Position: Defensive Tackle Age, Experience: 26, 6 College: Florida

Marcus Thomas is a defensive tackle who does back flips. He’s also the only remaining player on the Denver Broncos roster from the team’s 2007 draft class, and he’s survived two scheme changes, several position changes, and five defensive coordinators to remain on the team to this point. A healthy mainstay as a rotational player on the defensive line, Thomas is one of two Broncos interior D-linemen in franchise history to play in every game in his first four seasons. He’s gone from alleged off-field troublemaker to being recognized by the NFL for his leadership in community service.

2011 Analysis: Thomas missed the first four weeks of the regular season with a strained right pectoral muscle he suffered in preseason — those games were the first and only four absences of Thomas’s NFL career. He was starting at DT next to NT Brodrick Bunkley by Week 7, and he remained in that position the rest of the season. Thomas turned in a solid season, and he finished with a career-high 43 tackles.

Contract Status: Unrestricted free agent 2012

2012 Outlook: Free agent Marcus Thomas is not going to come cheaply. It’s his first chance to hit the open market, and unless the Broncos can woo him early, he’s probably going to test it. A young defensive lineman with experience, proven health, and upside is a rare commodity in the NFL, and Thomas fits the bill. He was never a game-changer or playing at a Pro Bowl level, but he was a solid contributor to the Broncos more often than not in his days in Denver. If the Broncos can’t re-sign him they will have to make a heavy investment in his replacement.

As always, we invite you, the readers, to participate. Should the Broncos keep Marcus Thomas around in 2012 or look to upgrade via free agency or, more likely, the early rounds of the 2012 draft?

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