The Patriots had longtime Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and former Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon in for a free agent visit today, per source. They continue to look for more offensive weapons.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 10, 2019
The 6’3, 230 pound Thomas was a first round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, who posted a ridiculous 402 receptions and 5,787 receiving yards (2nd most to Antonio Brown) and 41 receiving touchdowns (3rd most, behind Brandon Marshall and Dez Bryant) with Peyton Manning at quarterback from 2012-2015.
Thomas’ production plummeted when Manning retired because Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler were, uh, not very good at playing quarterback. The Houston Texans outbid the Patriots to acquire Thomas midway through the 2018 season for roughly a fourth round pick, but Thomas unfortunately tore his Achilles in week 16.
Thomas plead guilt to careless driving back in February for driving 70 in a 30 MPH zone, leading to a crash, and has one year of probation.
The 6’1, 233 pound Yeldon was a second round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and has quietly been very productive in the NFL. Over his four seasons, Yeldon’s played 51 of a possible 64 games, averaging 62.2 yards per game (ranks 27th for running backs over that time). Yeldon is one of 11 players with more than 1,300 rushing and receiving yards since 2015.
Yeldon would be a great complementary running back for any offense and, in my mind, was greatly underutilized in Jacksonville. I just wonder what a potential role would be for him in New England. He’s not as good a receiver as James White, and not as good a runner as Sony Michel. Yeldon’s healthier than Rex Burkhead, but far less efficient. He’s a better runner and receiver than Brandon Bolden, but Bolden is a roster lock because of his special teams ability.
So maybe Yeldon’s just an emergency list player in case of an offseason injury, or maybe he’ll be a Jeremy Hill-type surprise and make the active roster.
Would you want to add either of these players?