The New England Patriots have hired Demaryius Thomas in the hope that their addition could reinforce a receiving group that would otherwise be thin.
The team announced the move on Tuesday, less than a week after receiving Thomas on a free agent visit.
Thomas, 31, was acquired by the Texans of the Denver Broncos just before the trade deadline last season. He suffered a torn Achilles tendon that ends the season in December and was released by Houston in February.
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He caught 23 pbades for 275 yards and two touchdowns in seven games after his trade with the Texans. Between the two teams, Thomas finished 2018 with 59 receptions for 677 yards and five touchdowns.
The Patriots lost one of their main free agent goals, Adam Humphries, who signed with the Tennessee Titans. They return to the first option Julian Edelman, 32, who won the Most Valuable Player honors in Super Bowl LIII, and re-signed Phillip Dorsett with a one-year contract that could be worth up to $ 2.6 million.
Former Washington Redskins receiver Maurice Harris and slot receiver Bruce Ellington signed modest one-year deals to help complete a depth chart that also includes practice squad player Damoun Patterson and the sixth round pick. of 2018 Braxton Berrios, who spent his rookie season Reserve injured.
The club could have recovered Chris Hogan, who was a free agent without restrictions, but was not aggressive in doing so. Hogan signed a one-year contract with the Carolina Panthers last week that could have a value of up to $ 2 million.
Thomas, four times selected to the Pro Bowl, won $ 14 million in 2019, none of which was guaranteed. He said just before his release in Texas that he was not thinking of retiring.
"I can still play, man," he said.
Thomas was arrested on February 27 and charged with vehicular badault (a felony), reckless driving and no proof of insurance in connection with an accident that occurred on February 16 in downtown Denver. He and two pbadengers were injured and were taken to hospital after their SUV went off the road and changed end to end after reaching a median to over 70 mph, more than double the speed limit.
Thomas pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless driving on March 27, and the felony charge was dismissed. He was fined $ 300, ordered to complete 50 hours of community service and received one year of supervised probation.
Thomas, who was the first first-round pick, spent his first eight or more seasons in the NFL with the Broncos, including a season under former Denver head coach and current Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Thomas has the second highest number of yards per reception (9,055) and touchdown (60) in Broncos history, behind Rod Smith in both categories.
Mike Reiss and Sarah Barshop of ESPN contributed to this report.