No Denver Broncos player should ever wear #88 again ... so says Brandon Marshall, who tells TMZ Sports the team needs to retire the digits to honor Demaryius Thomas.
"It's just fitting, it just makes sense," said the former Broncos linebacker, who played with Thomas in Denver for years. "[He's] one of the greatest Broncos ever."
Marshall is making the push for his former team to go ahead with the tribute following Thomas' death this week ... telling us Demaryius is more than deserving of the honor.
Marshall explains Thomas' resume on the field was simply that good ... but he also says Thomas' off-the-field actions warrant the jersey praise as well.
"He's one of the greatest Broncos of all-time, point blank, period," Marshall said. "He's one of the greatest receivers of my era -- of our generation. One of the greatest receivers in Broncos history."
"And, as Peyton [Manning] said, he's an even better guy."
While no jersey retirement is in the cards yet -- the Broncos already have plans to pay tribute to the former Super Bowl champion before the Lions game this weekend at Empower Field At Mile High regardless.
Head coach Vic Fangio said the team will wear helmet decals and play a video tribute prior to kickoff. He also said a moment of silence will be observed.
As we reported, Thomas died Thursday after cops say they found him deceased in his shower in his Roswell, Ga. home. He would have turned 34 years old on Christmas.