Patriots sign wide receiver Demaryius Thomas


The Patriots have added much-needed depth at the wide receiver position.

New England signed longtime Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas, the team announced on Tuesday.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, it's a one-year deal worth up to $6 million.

Back in February, NBC Sports Boston's own Phil Perry wrote a piece discussing whether the Patriots should consider signing Thomas:

"Given the need for bodies at that position, the quick answer should be something along the lines of, "Why not?" 

The Patriots cycled through buckets full of receivers old and young last spring and summer in the hopes of finding quality depth at that position. They eventually settled on trading for Josh Gordon, who was suspended late in the year, leaving the Patriots with only two receivers who would eventually record a catch in Super Bowl LIII: Edelman and Cordarrelle Patterson. 

Then when you consider Thomas was Josh McDaniels' first first-round pick as head coach of the Broncos in 2010, the match between Thomas and the Patriots becomes even more interesting. If healthy, he'd give New England an outside-the-numbers threat who posted five consecutive 1,000-yard seasons from 2012-16, at times playing with below-average quarterbacks."

Thomas, 31, joins a Patriots wide receiver depth chart that currently consists of Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Bruce Ellington, Maurice Harris, Braxton Berrios, Matthew Slater, and Josh Gordon.

In 15 games last season between Denver and Houston, Thomas tallied 677 yards and five touchdowns. He suffered a torn Achilles in Week 16, putting his availability for the start of the regular season in question as he recovers from the injury.

Thomas also faces a felony vehicular manslaughter charge stemming from a car crash in Denver in February. 

He was arrested Feb. 28 after turning himself in. A police statement said on Feb. 16, Thomas was driving more than 70 mph, more than twice the speed limit, at around 12:20 a.m. near downtown Denver when his SUV went off the road and flipped end-over-end, after hitting a median. The SUV landed on its wheels and one of his two passengers suffered serious injuries.

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