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Patriots roster cuts: Demaryius Thomas an unexpected departure

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Demaryius Thomas caught two touchdowns in his preseason debut.

NFL: Preseason-New York Giants at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Two nights removed from making his New England Patriots debut, Demaryius Thomas has been made a free agent.

As NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported after the 4 p.m. ET roster deadline Saturday, New England has released the veteran wide receiver.

For now.

Sources indicated to Mike Giardi of NFL Media that both the Patriots and Thomas have interest in a return at a later date.

Thomas had signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal in April after suffering a torn Achilles while a member of the Houston Texans in December. The 31-year-old was activated from physically unable to perform midway through the preseason, and saw the field Thursday night at Gillette Stadium versus the New York Giants.

Thomas went on to catch a team-high seven passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns from rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham. The five-time Pro Bowler, originally drafted by Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels while with the Denver Broncos, remained in for five series.

New England’s current depth chart out wide stands with Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Josh Gordon, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski.

Thomas could rejoin those ranks after the contracts of vested NFL veterans are no longer fully guaranteed.