FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick showed surprising candor while reacting to comments former New England Patriots wide receiver Demaryius Thomas made about being traded by the organization to the New York Jets.
Thomas called the trade “insulting” and “disrespectful.” The Patriots released Thomas during roster cuts but promised to bring him back. The Patriots re-signed Thomas days later but traded him to the Jets after signing wide receiver Antonio Brown.
“Look, Demaryius is a great kid. I have a ton of respect for him, very professional and did everything we asked him to do,” Belichick said Thursday morning. “Our circumstances changed a couple times in that period leading up to when he was traded. I felt like I was truthful with him but things changed and therefore what I said was not the same as what it was — what I’d said previously. It is what it is.”
Thomas clearly wanted to stick around in New England, but he also would have wanted to pick his destination had he known he ultimately would not wind up being retained by the Patriots.
Brown only lasted one game with the Patriots, but New England is probably wishing they had kept Thomas around. Last Thursday, the Patriots were so shallow at wide receiver that undrafted rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski wound up playing the entire second half in the Patriots’ 35-14 win over the New York Giants.
The Patriots play the Jets on Monday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.