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Demaryius Thomas’ days as a No. 1 wide receiver are gone, but they can still be valuable to the New York Jets.
At 32 years of age, Demaryius Thomas has not garnered any interest on the free agent market this offseason. But he apparently wants to keep playing, and Connor Hughes of The Athletic (subscription required) has reported the New York Jets are “still talking” with the veteran wide receiver.
Thomas spent last season with the Jets, tallying 36 catches for 433 yards and one touchdown in 11 games. His peak from 2012-2016 with the Denver Broncos, when he topped 1,300 yards in the first four of the years as a primary target for Peyton Manning, is gone. But for the Jets, a veteran wide receiver who ‘s been around the block would carry intangible value.
Should the Jets sign Demaryius Thomas?
Jamison Crowder was the Jets’ leading receiver this past year (78 receptions for 833 yards and six touchdowns), and that he was the most trusted target for quarterback Sam Darnold. The team swapped Robby Anderson for Breshad Perriman in free agency, and drafted Denzel Mims in the second round of April’s draft. But beyond that top three wide receivers is a concern, with Vyncint Smith and Braxton Berrios occupying the final two spots on the depth chart right now.
Over nine games after Darnold came ultimately back from mono last year, Thomas had 31 receptions (on 47 targets) for 387 yards and a touchdown. Not the most robust numbers, but Thomas has that sample of history working with Darnold to accompany a role as a veteran mentor to Mims if that he came back to the Jets.
Thomas is also within pretty easy range of a career milestone if they can find a chance to play this season, which appears like it’ll be the Jets or nowhere at this point. He is 237 yards far from becoming the 49th player in NFL history to achieve 10,000 receiving yards.