Mason's Mailbag: Dymonte Thomas capitalized on shot

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Why didn't Su'a Cravens and Shane Ray play on Saturday?

-- Ryan Winston

As Head Coach Vance Joseph noted, "We’re playing the best players." And in the case of Dymonte Thomas in particular, it was time to give him an extensive look. Remember, he played an outstanding game in the preseason at Washington, finishing with one pass breakup and five tackles -- including two open-field stops on third and fourth downs that halted drives. That night alone merited a longer look at some point in the future, which arrived Saturday.

The moves appeared to pay dividends. Thomas intercepted Baker Mayfield late in the first half, provided yeoman's work when pressed into service at cornerback and finished with the Broncos' fourth-highest defensive grade from Saturday in Pro Football Focus' metrics. Jeff Holland, who replaced Ray, played 21 snaps and finished with two tackles and one quarterback hurry.

I love the "A Football Life" program and they have profiled all the big names and some of the not-so-great. My question is why hasn't there been one on John Elway? Surely he should have had one by now.

-- Chris Dobson

Simply put, it takes time. NFL Network has produced 111 episodes – an average of 13.9 per year -- over the show's eight-season run, and has not worked through anything close to all of the big names yet. Just looking at Hall of Fame quarterbacks, for example, "A Football Life" has profiled just nine of the 20 quarterbacks from the Super Bowl era currently in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

And as you know from watching the series, sometimes it spotlights moments in history -- such as the Browns' 1995 season before relocating to Baltimore -- or players with compelling, unique stories that merited a documentary, such as former Washington tight end Jerry Smith, who died of AIDS nine years after his playing career ended.

Certain Hall of Famers Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees haven't been profiled, either, even though the series has featured some players and coaches who were active at the time of their show's premiere, including Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald last year, then-Cardinals coach Bruce Arians in 2015, former Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall in 2014, longtime cornerback Darrelle Revis in 2013 and quarterback Tim Tebow six months after his trade from the Broncos to the Jets in 2012.

I have no doubt an Elway edition will come at some point. But he's far from the only Bronco I would want to see profiled; you could rattle of a long list of players who merit episodes, from Hall of Fame-caliber standouts to players like Brian Griese who made massive impacts in the community.

With the cutting of Paxton Lynch and Marquette King, and the trade of Demaryius Thomas, what salary-cap hit will we have remaining in 2019 for those guys and with what we saved on salary for Demaryius this year, will it transfer to next year's available cap number?

-- Bill Neel

Any cap savings on the current year can be carried over to the next one. According to the NFLPA's daily salary-cap report, the Broncos currently have $8,283,682 in cap space, which will be added to their base cap figure for 2019 (although any signings to the 53-man roster necessitated by players going on injured reserve would eat into that a bit).

The big savings on Thomas, of course, is the non-guaranteed salary he won't be paid in 2019 by the Broncos; according to OvertheCap.com, he still carries $3,533,334 in dead money on the 2019 cap even after the trade. Lynch and King combine for $1,606,299 in dead money, according to OvertheCap.com.

How many games did it take for Tom Brady and Peyton Manning to each reach their TD totals?

-- Jeffrey Calbert

Manning threw 579 touchdowns in 293 games, including playoffs. Brady, who came into Week 15 with 582 touchdowns, amassed his total in 303 games, including the postseason. He matched Manning's tally two weeks ago, so he needed nine more games than Manning to reach 579.

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