The New England Patriots added depth at the wide receiver position with the signing of veteran playmaker Demaryius Thomas, but how much will he really help?
If this was following the 2016 NFL season, the signing of veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas would’ve excited most New England Patriots fans as adding a playmaker coming off five consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons would’ve given Tom Brady another valuable weapon.
Fast forward a couple seasons and the one-year deal the team agreed upon to add Thomas to a mostly unproven wide receiver group doesn’t seem so exciting to most fans.
First of all, Thomas is on the tail end of his career in which his offensive numbers have declined steadily since that 2016 season in which he caught 90 passes for 1083 yards. Additionally, he is coming off an Achilles injury that could make him unavailable come the start of the 2019 NFL season.
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Still, after missing out on Golden Tate and Adam Humphries in free agency and rumors that the team was in on trades involving Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr., adding a proven veteran like Thomas is better than nothing.
Now, there is still the draft and a possibility the team can still trade for a top receiver. If they add another talented wide receiver or two, suddenly the addition of Demaryius Thomas would be something to smile about given his past production and what he still has in the tank.
The reported one-year deal worth $6 million does indicate that the New England Patriots feel his health won’t be a long-term issue and that he could help the team.
Those names are reasons not to get too excited about a player whose best years are behind him.
What Thomas does add
That familiarity should allow for Thomas to be effective after he gets a few games under his belt in New England. Prior to the Achilles injury he still caught 59 passes for 677 yards in 15 games between played with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans.
As a complimentary piece, those numbers with the Patriots would be tremendous.
Despite a reputation of being soft, Demaryius Thomas is a big, outside receiver with big-play ability. Four consecutive seasons of over 1300 yards receiving certainly proves that, but on the downside of his career, the chemistry or lack thereof with Tom Brady will determine if he can at least be effective in the Patriots offense.
Again, not an overly exciting addition, but one that does give the New England Patriots some much needed depth and Tom Brady another weapon to work with.