Antonio Brown hasn’t been the only notable wide receiver to come and go from the 2019 Patriots. Demaryius Thomas, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, was signed by New England during the offseason to bolster depth at the position.
And Thomas appeared to be making a positive impact after recovering from a ruptured Achilles’ in 2018 when he caught two touchdown passes in the final preseason game this season.
He was cut before the start of the season, only to be brought back days later when rookie receiver N’Keal Harry was placed on injured reserve.
The Patriots again parted with Thomas to make room for Brown when Brown was cut by the Raiders in September. The Patriots sent Thomas to the Jets for a draft pick.
The result, more than a month later, is that neither Thomas nor Brown are in New England, as the Patriots released Brown 11 days after signing him. Thomas, after missing several games because of injury, is now back as one of the Jets’ starting receivers.
Ahead of the upcoming Patriots-Jets clash on Monday night, Thomas hasn’t forgotten the treatment he received in New England.
“It was insulting, for sure,” Thomas told Manish Mehta of The New York Daily News on Wednesday. “Once I got cut [Aug. 31], I could have just come here [to the Jets] and not stayed there and [re-signed]. 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.”
Thomas described what he thinks was a lack of good faith on the part of the Patriots after the team initially cut him after the preseason.
“It was disrespectful to me,” said Thomas. “Like, you know, you could trust me and I could trust you. You told me when you cut me at the [final] cut, sit around you’ll bring me back. And I stayed. I could have easily become a Jet once I got cut . . . I could have been here the next day after I got released. But I chose to stay.”
The 31-year-old said even his relationship with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels wasn’t enough to get the transparency he desired.
“Josh McDaniels drafted me,” Thomas said. “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 OK.’ Two weeks later, [Brown] gets cut . . . and then they kicked me [to the curb] and shipped me out like I’m just a rookie.”
Thomas added that the Patriots are “doing a hell of a job,” and that he was “only trying to be a part of something that was going to be good when I was there.” Still, he’s satisfied with his current situation with New England’s AFC East opponent under head coach Adam Gase.
“Once I got traded here, I was happy to be back with Adam.”
The Patriots travel to MetLife Stadium to play the Jets on Monday. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m.