The New York Jets have officially named veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas the newest team captain per request of the team’s other captains.
New York Jets wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has flown a little under the radar since being acquired by the club very early in the season. But make no mistake about it, he’s made an impact whether noticed or not.
Needing help at receiver, the Jets decided to trade a future sixth-round pick to their arch-rivals the New England Patriots in exchange for the aging Thomas. At one time, Thomas was one of the very best receivers in the NFL with the stats to back it up.
A four-time Pro Bowler, Thomas put together a stretch of five straight 1,000-yard campaigns from 2012 to 2016 including an 111-catch, 1,619-yard season back in 2014. But as is always the case in football, father time is unforgiving.
Thomas spent last season splitting time between the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans before tearing his Achilles in late 2018. And after struggling to stay healthy with the Patriots this preseason, they obviously didn’t see much of a future.
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For the Jets, this was obviously a shot in the dark given Thomas’ increasing age and declining production. But week by week, Thomas has steadily improved and developed into a valuable piece of the offense.
The 31-year-old has hauled in 10 grabs for 128 yards over the past two weeks and has managed to develop a pretty impressive rapport with quarterback Sam Darnold. But while he continues to improve on the field, his true value has been felt off of it.
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Thomas has given the Jets’ offense a true veteran leader — something they really lacked before his arrival. The Georgia Tech product has always been a respectable locker room leader, but never before has his leadership been as needed as it is with the Jets.
And following a season-ending injury to special teams ace Rontez Miles, an open captaincy role officially opened up. Following the request of the other five captains on the team, Thomas was chosen to be Miles’ replacement.
Head coach Adam Gase relayed the information to Thomas on Thursday and he’s now officially been given the sacred “C” path on his jersey. For Thomas, this isn’t a role he’s unfamiliar with.
Thomas served as a captain with the Broncos for years in Denver but as he mentioned in an interview with Connor Hughes of The Athletic, “I haven’t had that C in a while.”
Thomas’ veteran leadership and guidance have been a huge plus for the young Darnold as he continues to develop. And it’s clear that his effort hasn’t gone unnoticed.
With his involvement in the offense increasing each week and his locker room presence as evident as ever, it seems as though the Jets may have gotten the better of their nemesis in this trade.
Thomas is a valued member of this roster, both on and off the field. And now he has the prestigious captain’s patch to show for it.