The Patriots were clear with Demaryius Thomas when they cut him in August that the plan was to bring him back. And they did just that.
But the veteran wide receiver said he was surprised when they traded him to the Jets eight days later, startled to realize that the most business-like team in the league turned him into just another piece of business.
“It was insulting, for sure,” Thomas told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “Once I got cut, 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.”
The short answer was, the Patriots thought they were trading up, when they were able to get their hands on Antonio Brown. Of course, that didn’t work, and Thomas seems happy to be with the Jets now. He said he enjoyed his time with the Patriots this offseason, as he recovered from last year’s torn Achilles.
“They took a chance to bring me in and helped me get healthy,” Thomas said. “I always knew I was going to be able to still play . . . and it would have worked out because I was still learning their offense. Josh McDaniels drafted me [in Denver]. So, I felt like I was cool. But even having conversations with him and couple other people, it was like, ‘You’re going to be okay.’ Two weeks later, AB gets cut . . . and then they kicked me [to the curb] and shipped me out like I’m just a rookie.”
While he wasn’t angry with the way the deal went down, Thomas did say he felt it was “disrespectful” to trade him so shortly after he re-signed.
“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 said. “And that was that. . . . Ain’t no reason to yell. They’ve won championships without me. I was only trying to be a part of something that was going to be good when I was there. . . . They’re doing a hell of a job.”
Thomas has settled in with another familiar former coach in Adam Gase, and learned that in New England, no particular player is special.