With Antonio Brown officially in town, the Patriots trimmed from their overcrowded wide receiver group on Tuesday, trading veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the New York Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2021, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Thomas, who originally signed with the Patriots in April but was then cut-and-signed again as part of some crafty paperwork maneuvering from the Patriots before the start of the regular season, appeared in just one preseason game with New England, totaling 87 yards and two touchdowns on seven catches.
And though it came in the preseason finale against the Giants’ third-stringers and future cuts, the game served as a reminder that Thomas still had the reliable hands to make him a potential threat in the Patriot offense.
But on top of working his way back from an Achilles injury that ended his Texans tenure after just seven games, the 31-year-old Thomas was limited leading up to New England’s Week 1 head-to-head with the Steelers and was then among the inactives due to a hamstring injury.
That absence didn’t help his standing within the New England depth chart after strong performances from Phillip Dorsett, Josh Gordon, as well as noteworthy cameo appearances from rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski (in the punt return game) in the 33-3 victory over Pittsburgh.
This is the first trade between the Patriots and Jets since Belichick resigned from his post with the Jets to join the Patriots, and means that Belichick has now made at least one trade with every team in the NFL.