The NY Jets will look to upgrade the wide receiver position in the offseason, but will their 2020 plans include veteran wideout Demaryius Thomas.
It was a serious stroke of misfortune for the offense as the Jets were already thin at wide receiver, to begin with. As a result, the team’s recent acquisition of veteran Demaryius Thomas proved to be even more important.
Thomas was acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots days after the team’s Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick. It was a small price to pay for an experienced wideout with Thomas’ pedigree.
The five-time Pro Bowler may have been a shell of his former self, but he did an admirable job of giving the Jets an experienced body to play at receiver. After all, he was a better option than the likes of Braxton Berrios, Vyncint Smith, and Josh Bellamy.
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Perhaps Thomas’ biggest asset was his veteran leadership which proved beneficial in a young Jets offense. The fact that he was given a captain’s patch is further proof of how the coaching staff viewed him.
But now that he’s a free agent, will the Jets opt to re-sign him for another year?
Should the Jets re-sign him?
For a one-year stop-gap, Demaryius Thomas played about as well as could have been expected.
The 32-year-old hadn’t had a 1,000-yard campaign in three seasons and was less than a year removed from a torn Achilles suffered at the end of the 2018 season.
Thomas would finish 2019 with 36 catches for 433 yards and a touchdown in 11 games played. Not exceptional numbers, but respectable given the situation he was in.
He served his role in 2019, but there is little reason to bring him back in 2020.
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The Jets are looking to get younger and faster at the receiver position. And while Thomas provided stability to an unproven receiving core last year, he remains a low-tier starting option at this point in his career.
He isn’t getting any younger and isn’t half the player that he once was. Thomas should be playing for a new team in 2020, even if his short tenure in East Rutherford was a slight success.
Will the Jets re-sign him?
The Jets’ coaching staff was evidently very high on the former Denver Broncos superstar. Thomas was named a team captain just over two months after arriving at the team’s facilities and he was trusted in that leadership role despite limited experience with the organization.
That alone speaks to the level of trust and respect Adam Gase and company have for Thomas.
But respect alone doesn’t guarantee a roster spot.
Thomas will be 33-years-old by the end of next season and the Jets are looking to upgrade at the receiver position in 2020. That means improving upon the aging Thomas and replacing him with a younger, more promising starter.
At this stage in his career, Thomas is better served as a dependable depth receiver than to be counted on as a viable starting option. He could fill that role for some team next season.
But don’t expect that team to be the Jets.
Odds of re-signing: 5%