Two notable veterans made appearances at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.
Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and running back T.J. Yeldon both traveled to the New England Patriots’ facility for free agent visits, according to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates.
The Patriots know Thomas well from his eight-plus-season run with the Denver Broncos, which ended when Denver dealt him to the Houston Texans ahead of last year’s trade deadline. The 31-year-old tore his Achilles in his third game with Houston, was released in February and has yet to latch on with a new team.
Thomas was one of the NFL’s premier receivers from 2012 to 2017, averaging 95.8 catches, 1,303.2 yards and 8.5 touchdowns per season and earning four Pro Bowl selections. His best days are behind him at this point, but if he can return to full health, he could provide a real boost to a Patriots receiving corps that currently lacks a proven No. 2 behind Julian Edelman.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels coached Thomas early in his career in Denver, and New England reportedly attempted to trade for him last season.
NFL Media’s James Palmer reported Thomas’ visit “went well.”
Yeldon, meanwhile, is seeking a new home after his rookie contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars expired last month.
The 2015 second-round pick never has put up stellar rushing numbers — his 740-yard, two-touchdown rookie campaign remains his most productive at the NFL level — but has been a solid contributor in the passing game. He’s caught 158 balls for 1,212 yards and six scores over his four-year career, including a 53-472-4 line in 12 games last season.
The Patriots are much deeper at running back than receiver. The backfield trifecta of Sony Michel, James White and Rex Burkhead is set to return this season, as is special teamer Brandon Bolden, who’s back with the Patriots after a one-year stint with the Miami Dolphins.
New England also hosted quarterback prospects Daniel Jones and Will Grier for pre-draft visits Wednesday, according to a report from NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.