Demaryius Thomas did not make a major impact with the New York Jets after they acquired him in a trade with the New England Patriots last season, but the team reportedly has some interest in bringing him back.
The Jets have been in contact with Thomas about a potential return, Connor Hughes of The Athletic reports. With a wide receiver corps that features Breshad Perriman and rookie Denzel Mims as the starters on the outside with Jamison Crowder in the slot, New York may want to get Sam Darnold some more help. Thomas is familiar with the offense from the 11 games he played with the Jets last season, so they could certainly do worse.
Thomas, 32, has battled injuries in recent years and lost some of his ability to separate from defenders. He posted five consecutive seasons of more than 1,000 receiving yards from 2012-2016, but his production has fallen off since. In 11 games with the Jets last year, Thomas caught 36 passes for 433 yards and a touchdown. He never appeared in a game for the Patriots before they traded him.
Thomas unloaded on the Patriots after they traded him to the Jets, but nothing he did on the field in New York convinced anyone New England should have kept him. If he does return to the Jets, it will likely be on a short money deal.
Tom Brady hooked up ex-teammate Demaryius Thomas with a gift prior to Monday night’s game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets.
Thomas signed with the Patriots in the offseason and was with them at the start of the season. They ended up trading him to the Jets after they no longer had room for him following the Antonio Brown signing.
Prior to Monday night’s game, video showed Brady handing Thomas a box.
— Chad Amaral (@Chad_Amaral) October 21, 2019
Thomas ripped the Patriots last week, calling his time with the team a “waste.” Maybe this was Brady’s way of making it up to his ex-teammate. Thomas did his best to return the favor with a drop in the first quarter.
Thomas did not record any stats with the Patriots, but he entered Monday night with nine catches and 108 yards for the Jets.
Demaryius Thomas feels that Bill Belichick misled him during the veteran receiver’s brief time with the New England Patriots, but that is not the way Belichick remembers it.
Thomas unloaded on the Patriots this week and said signing with them turned out to be a “waste of time.” He said he was told his spot on the regular season roster would be safe after New England released him initially, so he stuck around and re-signed with the team. That was before Antonio Brown was cut by the Oakland Raiders, which changed things and made Thomas the odd man out.
While speaking with reporters on Thursday, Belichick acknowledged that the circumstances surrounding Thomas changed but said he “felt like I was always truthful with him.”
Belichick responds to Jets WR Demaryius Thomas' comments pic.twitter.com/Q7XDQpzqmE
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) October 17, 2019
Thomas has been around long enough to know that the NFL is a business. It’s certainly possible — if not probable — that the Patriots had every intention of keeping him around until Brown became available. No one could have predicted that one of the best wide receivers in football would suddenly become a free agent and want to sign with New England, so the Patriots felt they could not pass up the opportunity.
If Thomas wants to, he can take pleasure in the way the Brown signing turned out for the Patriots. However, the implication that the Patriots should have kept their word no matter what is unrealistic. That’s not how professional sports work.
Demaryius Thomas was only with the New England Patriots for around five months, and the veteran wide receiver does not feel like he took anything away from his brief tenure with the team. In fact, Thomas considers it a “waste of time.”
Thomas was initially signed by the Patriots back in April, and he was briefly released at the beginning of September before they brought him back. He told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News this week that he chose not to pursue other opportunities after being cut, as the Patriots assured him his regular season spot was not in doubt. He then re-signed with the team after they placed rookie receiver N’Keal Harry on injured reserve, but Thomas was traded to the New York Jets less than a week later when Antonio Brown became available.
“It was insulting, for sure,” Thomas said. “Once I got cut (on Aug. 31), I could have just come here (to the Jets) and not stayed there and re-sign. When they re-signed me, I was thinking that I was good. Two weeks later, I was gone. So, it’s like, ‘Why did I waste my time?’ Because at the end of the day, it was kind of a waste of time for me.”
Thomas’ main issue seems to be with Bill Belichick not keeping his word, as he says he enjoyed the time he spent with Tom Brady and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. He said he was given assurances that he would have a spot on the 53-man roster on multiple occasions, but he could have “easily” just signed with the Jets had he known he’d be given the boot in favor of Brown.
“Coach (Belichick) came up to me and was like, ‘Uh, we got too many guys. We can’t get the ball around enough and we’re going to trade you to the Jets,'” Thomas recalled.
The Patriots obviously did not think very highly of Thomas, as trading him to the Jets helped Belichick accomplish a rare feat. You can understand why he would be upset with the way things unfolded, but there are always going to be circumstances you can’t account for. New England obviously felt Brown was more worthy of a roster spot at the time, so Thomas can at least take some pleasure in how that situation worked out.
The Demaryius Thomas trade executed by the New England Patriots helped Bill Belichick accomplish something very rare.
The Patriots on Tuesday agreed to trade Thomas to the New York Jets for a 2021 sixth-round pick. New England found Thomas expendable since they signed Antonio Brown on Saturday, a move Belichick compared to the acquisition of Randy Moss.
The real telling aspect of the trade is to whom Thomas was dealt: the Jets. The deal marked the first time Belichick traded with the Jets, meaning he has now made at least one trade with every team in the NFL since taking over as Patriots head coach.
— Erik Scalavino (@E_Scal) September 10, 2019
Another kicker here is the last time the two teams traded, it was the Patriots acquiring Belichick from the Jets for a first-round pick (yes, New England traded for the coach).
Teams are often wary about trading a player to a division rival since you then would have to face the player two times per season. If Belichick is so unconcerned about trading Thomas to the Jets, it’s a bad sign about the receiver’s ability as he returns from a torn Achilles tendon.
Demaryius Thomas will stay with the New England Patriots after all.
Thomas has agreed to a deal to remain with the Patriots, who released him Saturday with the intention of bringing him back.
Patriots now are re-signing WR Demaryius Thomas to a one-year deal, per source. Thomas was released with the idea of returning.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 2, 2019
The 31-year-old receiver is still working his way back from the torn Achilles he suffered in Week 16 of the 2018 season. He also had some off-field issues during the offseason.
Thomas is no longer the receiver who was regularly putting up 1,000 yards a few years back, but the Patriots believe he can still contribute. He’ll have a chance to do it for them after all.
- Demaryius Thomas
Demaryius Thomas has fallen short in his efforts to make the New England Patriots.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Patriots have cut Thomas, who is still working his way back from the torn Achilles he suffered in Week 16 of the 2018 season.
Source: The #Patriots are releasing WR Demaryius Thomas, who flashed in the fourth preseason game. He’s still working his way back to health.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2019
Thomas would have had the opportunity to make up to $6 million with New England, but that won’t happen now.
Thomas has a very accomplished resume. The 31-year-old had a very successful run with the Denver Broncos, posting six consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2012 through 2016. His numbers have diminished in recent years, but his resume should ensure that he’s picked up by another team and given the chance to get healthy.