This was likely the plan all along. The Patriots wanted to place rookie N’Keal Harry on injured reserve while leaving the door open to his return in the second half of the season. That would not have been possible had they placed Harry on IR over the weekend. So, instead, they cut Thomas, placed Harry on IR on Monday, and re-signed Thomas moments later.
Thomas isn’t the player he once was, but he did show glimpses of his old self in preseason. In the Pats’ preseason finale, he caught seven passes for 87 yards and two scores.