The New England Patriots have signed four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to a one-year deal, according to published reports.
Thomas, 31, could earn up to $6 million on the deal, NFL Network reported. He bolsters New England’s passing attack ahead of next week’s NFL draft.
In nine seasons with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans, Thomas has hauled in 688 catches for 9,330 yards and 62 touchdowns. The Broncos traded him to the Texans before last season’s trade deadline, and he finished the year with 59 catches for 677 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games overall.
Thomas’ season ended Dec. 23 when he tore his left Achilles against the Philadelphia Eagles. He will be about seven months removed from the injury when the Patriots report to training camp, and it is uncertain whether he will be fully recovered for the first practice.
Last season’s production marked a decline for Thomas, who surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in five straight seasons from 2012-16. He was part of the Broncos’ Super Bowl championship team during the 2015 season and has scored six touchdowns in 10 career playoff games.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has spoken highly of Thomas in the past. He complimented the receiver and Emmanuel Sanders before the 2015 AFC title game.
“You can’t just take away one thing,” Belichick said in comments published by the Boston Herald. “They’re both great catch-and-run players. They can both beat you on intermediate routes, come-backs, in-cuts, slim posts, things like that, and then they’re both great down the field with vertical routes.”
Thomas joins a group of receivers in New England that includes top target Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Bruce Ellington, Maurice Harris, Braxton Berrios and others. Josh Gordon has been indefinitely suspended by the league.