Patriots Add a New 5-Time Pro Bowl Weapon for Tom Brady


The New England Patriots’ thin receiving corps received a boost on Tuesday as the team signed five-time Pro Bowler Demaryius Thomas.

Thomas visited the team last week and signed a one-year contract worth $1.2 million. Thomas receives a signing bonus of $150,000 and could earn more through bonuses and incentives, according to ESPN.

Thomas finished last season with the Texans after being acquired in a trade just before the trade deadline. He spent his first eight-and-a-half years with the Broncos.

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In December, Thomas suffered a torn Achilles tendon, which was the second tear of his career.

He finished the season on injured reserve and the Texans released him in February.

One of Peyton Manning’s favorite targets while with the Broncos, Thomas posted five straight 1,000-yard seasons from 2012-16.

He ranked second in receptions, third in receiving yards and tied for second in receiving touchdowns from 2012-14 and made two All-Pro teams during that span.

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But his production has slipped considerably and his receiving yards have decreased in four straight seasons.

Apart from his on-field production dropping, Thomas also ran into a legal issue this past offseason.

In February he was arrested for vehicular assault after rolling over in his vehicle which was traveling 70 mph in a 30 mph zone.

A month later he pleaded guilty to careless driving resulting in injury and has been sentenced to one year of supervised probation and 50 hours of community service.

There’s no guarantee that Thomas will even make the Patriots for the 2019 season, as many veteran receivers have signed with the team in the past only to not end up on the roster.

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Thomas’ former Broncos teammate Eric Decker signed with New England last offseason but retired during preseason.

Former Colts receiver Reggie Wayne was another Peyton Manning favorite who signed with the Patriots at the end of his career.

But Wayne requested his release just two weeks after signing with New England and retired shortly thereafter.

For now, Thomas is penciled in as a backup receiver on the team with holdovers Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett ahead of him.

He is expected to fill the role that Chris Hogan had for the last three seasons.

Hogan departed New England for the Carolina Panthers this offseason.

The Patriots also have Josh Gordon under contract but his availability for the 2019 season is uncertain after a December suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

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Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009.
Ross Kelly has been a sportswriter since 2009 and previously worked for ESPN, CBS and STATS Inc. A native of Louisiana, Ross now resides in Houston.
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