Doubting Thomas

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Do they really need to go there?

Connor Hughes of The Athletic announced that the Jets are “still talking” with free agent wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who played for them last year.

Thomas is represented by CAA (Creative Artists Agency), so this is likely where the leak came from.

The Jets sent a sixth-round pick to New England for him at the end of the last summer. It’s unlikely Bill Belichick would have traded him to the Jets if he thought it would hurt him competitively. So this kind of trade, may the buyer beware.

Thomas arrived as a damaged goods, with a hamstring injury, and missed the first game of the season. He ended up missing four other games due to injuries.

He has quite the injury history – twice torn right achilles tendon, foot surgery and he even suffered injuries in a car accident last year. A lot of tread off this tire. He is 32, and will turn 33 in December.

Elitists will be quick to point out that the Jets should sign him because they need wide receiver depth. These are the kind of people who dismiss many people on the roster out of hand without wanting to give them a chance. That is not how I roll.

There probably five wide receiver locks to make the roster barring injury in Breshard Perriman, Denzel Mims, Jamison Crowder, Vyncint Smith and Braxton Berrios (who isn’t going anywhere because he’s a good punt returner). So there are five right there.

Perhaps they keep two or three more.

What about speedy Jeff Smith who shined on the Jets’ practice squad last year and was called up at the end of the season? What about Josh Malone, a fourth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, who also looked good on the practice squad, before being called up late in the year? What about Josh Doctson, a former first-round pick of the Washington Redskins? What about Jehu Chesson, a former Michigan star who came into the league as a fourth-round pick of Kansas City? What about priority undrafted free agent Lawrence Cager, out of Georgia?

I’m sorry, I’m not snooty about this stuff like some other people who might say, “They have no depth.”

Not true. How about giving some young guys a chance instead of bringing in another mercenary from the outside?

Thomas recently said he’d love to end his career in Denver where he started. How into being a Jets is he? Only he can say.

Maybe they think Thomas would be a good mentor to Mims.

But what the heck is wrong with Mim being coach/mentored by the two former NFL star receivers on the Jets staff in Shawn Jefferson and Hines Ward?

Maybe Adam Gase wants Thomas, who he had in Denver. Well Gase isn’t the GM. He was already given Frank Gore, so what is wrong with Douglas telling the coach, “Adam, I like the young receivers we have who are competing for the last few spots – we are going to stand pat.”

Let me end with this – if the Jets sign Thomas, and he gets hurt once again, the Jets powers-that-be should be criticized.

July 2, 2020

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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