Patriots trade Demaryius Thomas to Jets in rare trade between AFC East rivals

New England Patriots, New York Jets

After being signed, released and brought back by the Patriots before being inactive for Week 1, Demaryius Thomas is on his way to the Jets.

The New England Patriots took a flier on Demaryius Thomas this offseason, then released him at final cuts before re-signing him. A hamstring injury rendered him inactive for Week 1, and now according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the veteran wide receiver has been sent to the New York Jets for a sixth-round pick in 2021.

Thomas split last season between the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans after a trade, before an Achilles’ tear ended his campaign a little early. At 31-years-old and coming off a major injury, it is unknown how healthy and productive he can be. That said, he did have 83 receptions for the Broncos in 2017.

Thomas adds a veteran to the wide receiver mix for the Jets, and he has ties to head coach Adam Gase who was his receivers coach his first three years with the Broncos before becoming the offensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014. Thomas is not the player he was over those years at this point, but he should be familiar with the Jets’ offense, and if he can stay on the field, he may be a reliable veteran target for Sam Darnold.

The Patriots needed to make room for Antonio Brown, so someone had to go and Thomas was expendable. He’ll depart having never played a regular season game for New England, and moving him will net them a draft pick rather than nothing if they had just cut him again.

The Jets will be Thomas’ fourth team in the last year, but there’s also an interesting note regarding Bill Belichick’s trade wheelings and dealings in the wake of the trade. This is the first trade the Patriots and Jets have made together since the Jets traded Belichick to the Patriots.

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Given his one-day tenure as their head coach, and that they are division rivals, it’s not entirely surprising the two haven’t been open for business since.

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