ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In what has been the most pronounced showing of optimism in the negotiations between the Denver Broncos and Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said following Tuesday's minicamp practice he's "very confident" a deal will get done before the Broncos open training camp in late July.
Some of Thomas' more high-profile teammates, players like Emmanuel Sanders, Von Miller and Peyton Manning, have expressed their feelings in recent weeks that Thomas should get the contract he "deserves" and Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway has consistently said the two sides would work something out.
But Kubiak said Tuesday that Thomas has the team's playbook, has seen plenty of the practice video and will be as ready as he can be when the two sides come to an agreement. The Broncos opened their three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday.
"I'm very confident, yeah, I am," Kubiak said following practice. "John and I talk about it all the time, but I just try to stay focused on what we're doing right now. Going to continue to talk to, have some conversations through [wide receivers coach] Tyke [Tolbert] or somebody to Demaryius on exactly where he's at with our stuff. He's been studying our stuff, he's got all our cut-ups and that type of thing. Peyton and he are visiting consistently."
Kubiak said he's had discussions about making sure when Thomas does arrive, most likely for the start of training camp in late July, the team evaluates his physical conditioning at that point to make decisions about how much Thomas should practice initially.
"It's just going to be important that when we do get to that point and it's time to go, OK, what's our plan for him as we move forward," Kubiak said. "And we'll have that. I hear he's working extremely hard. ... His play speaks for itself. We expect him to be himself and ready to go. I'm just looking forward to it, looking forward to spending time with him, getting going."
Thomas, who was designated as the franchise player by the Broncos in March as the two sides try to work out a long-term deal, has not attended any of the Broncos' offseason workouts. Thomas has chosen to work in Atlanta much of the time.
For a wide receiver the franchise tag comes with a one-year, $12.823 million tender that Thomas has yet to sign. Because Thomas is not under contract and has not signed the franchise player tender, he cannot be fined for missing the team's mandatory minicamp this week -- by rule the only part of the Broncos' offseason program that can be designated as mandatory.
"Work is work, I know he's working, we've been in contact with him," Kubiak said. "I don't know it's ever the same when you're not working here with the guys and those type of things. But it is what it is, and it's going to get worked out and he's going to be here and he's going to be a great player for this football team. I'm just looking forward to that time. I actually texted with him [Tuesday]."
The Broncos and Thomas' representatives have exchanged proposals for weeks and any eventual deal will put Thomas among the highest-paid receivers in the league.
When the Broncos opened their OTA practices, Manning said he had been in contact with Thomas and that "he has played extremely well his first few years of his career, in my opinion has established himself as one of the top receivers in the NFL and like I said I want what's best for him. ... Hopefully there's that happy medium for both sides and we can get him in here soon and put that all behind everybody."
Kubiak also said Tuesday that as the team has installed the new offense, the position group that may have faced the most change is the wide receivers, in terms of the verbiage in the playbook as well as what's being called in the huddle now as well as at the line of scrimmage.
"Probably the toughest spot has been receiver," Kubiak said. "... There's a lot of the huddle talk Emmanuel and those guys are having to get used to ... probably, they've had the biggest adjustment."
Thomas told ESPN.com just before the offseason program opened that if no deal was worked out, he would eventually sign the franchise player tender and play the 2015 season under that tender. Overall, Calvin Johnson has the largest contract for any wide receiver in the league -- a seven-year, $113 million deal he signed in 2012 that includes $48.8 million in guaranteed money. Andre Johnson, who was released by the Houston Texans earlier this month, signed a seven-year, $67.8 million deal in 2010, while Percy Harvin signed a six-year, $64.2 million deal ($14.5 million guaranteed) in 2013.
Since the start of the 2011 season Thomas is second in the NFL with 28 100-yard receiving games in the regular season and postseason combined, including 10 100-yard games last season. His 226 yards in the Broncos' Oct. 5 win over the Arizona Cardinals is a franchise record for a single game, and his 1,619 yards receiving in 2014 set a single-season franchise record.
Thomas has had three consecutive seasons with at least 92 receptions, 1,430 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. He is the third player in league history to have three consecutive seasons with at least 1,400 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. Jerry Rice and Marvin Harrison are the others.