Thomas is second on the Broncos in receptions (36) and receiving yards (402) and tied for the team lead in receiving touchdowns (three) this season.
Also, the move frees up the Broncos to give younger wide receivers, like rookies Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton and first-year player Tim Patrick.
Thomas, a nine-year National Football League veteran, five-time Pro Bowl selection (2012-16) and former Super Bowl Champion (50), has played in 125 games (111 starts) and 10 postseason contests in his career (2010-18).
With midseason here approaching and the much-needed bye week set for after their Week 9 match-up at the Denver Broncos, the Houston Texans depth chart is beginning to look remarkably different from opening day of this season. Plus, the Broncos got a fourth-round pick in return, which is a good exchange for an expensive, aging receiver.
The five-time Pro Bowl selection ranks high on several franchise lists, including No. 2 for most receiving touchdowns and receiving yards.
What Thomas' trade means for Emmanuel Sanders is he is undoubtedly the No. 1 receiver on the Broncos.
"He made so many big plays", Elway said.
Thomas was the longest-tenured Broncos player after being drafted by the team in 2010. Houston in that case would save $14 million.
The Broncos (3-5) will host the Texans (5-3) on Sunday. So the gambling public is far less bullish on Denver than they were Sunday night. "We felt that we could make that move and send him to the Texans".