One of the Patriots’ biggest signings this offseason was receiver Demaryius Thomas. While Thomas is a big name, it doesn’t sound like he’s a lock to make a huge impact, or even the roster.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that “speculation has lingered that Thomas could go the way of other older players who for whatever reason didn’t mesh with the Patriot Way.” Additionally, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets that Thomas starting the season on the PUP list is a “realistic option.” If Thomas, who is still recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered toward the end of last season, did start the season on PUP, he would be forced to miss the first six games of the season.
If that’s the case, Volin writes he “could be a decent second-half addition for the offense.” But he’ll need to convince the Patriots he’s worthy of a roster spot first, and the injury isn’t the only hurdle he’s dealing with. Thomas is also facing potential league discipline after he was arrested and charged with vehicular assault following a car accident.
Thomas signed a one-year contract that could pay him up to $6MM if he reaches various incentives, but the Patriots could cut him without losing much. The base value of his contract is $1.2MM, and the only guaranteed money they gave him was a signing bonus of $150K. Thomas has a relationship with New England’s offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was his head coach in Denver, which should help his cause, but he still has a lot to prove.
Thomas entered the league as a first round pick of the Broncos back in 2010, and blossomed into one of the league’s best receivers with Peyton Manning. He made the Pro Bowl five straight times from 2012-16, but he isn’t the same physically anymore. He’s still crafty though and he remained pretty productive during his last full season, racking up 949 yards in 2017.
The Patriots were reportedly in on him at the trade deadline last year, which could be a good sign for his chances of making the roster since they tried to give up draft picks for him just last year. After being traded to the Texans at the deadline, Thomas played in just three games before going down with the Achilles injury. It’s unclear if he’s got much left in the tank, but he shouldn’t be counted out either.
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