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Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, right,, greets Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) on field before playing the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium October 28, 2018. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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Does Demaryius Thomas trade signal Broncos are in rebuild mode?

Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph, right,, greets Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) on field before playing the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium October 28, 2018. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos moved Demaryius Thomas to the Houston Texans ahead of Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline at least in part to look toward the future of the franchise in getting Courtland Sutton more playing time.

But does the trade signal that the club, which sits at 3-5 coming off a 5-11 season, is in full rebuild mode?

“I always say on these shows listen not to what they say but watch what they do. And this seems a fairly clear sign that the Broncos, whether they will admit to this or not, are moving into major rebuild mode,” said 104.3 The Fan host Sandy Clough on Tuesday evening.

“And it won’t simply involve player personnel.”

In the trade, the Broncos not only moved Thomas’ salary off the books but also received a fourth-round draft pick in return from the Texans, a move not insignificant to Clough.

“This trade does not help the Broncos at the moment. John Elway admits that,” Clough said. “Obviously, it doesn’t because what they’re getting back is material, draft picks for next spring at the NFL Draft. That doesn’t help right now.”

Elway, the Broncos general manager, however, said Tuesday in a press conference he doesn’t see the move as an indication that the team is in rebuilding mode.

“… Obviously, when you lose a guy like Demaryius, we’re going to lose a little bit. I think that where we can make it up is with the youth, the young guys and getting them experience as this year continues to go,” Elway said. “I didn’t think that it eliminated our ability to compete and hopefully (we) have a better second half than we’ve had a first half and win some football games.

“I didn’t that that was going to impede it by making this move. It also gave us some value that we thought was important.”

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.

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