The New York Jets shocked the football world Tuesday afternoon by pulling off an incredibly rare intra-division trade with the New England Patriots, sending a 2021 sixth-round pick to their division rivals in exchange for four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Thomas has all the makings of a big, physical receiver that the Jets sorely need, but it’s very much up for debate whether or not he can still play at a high level. After all, the 10-year veteran’s production has taken a nosedive over the past year and he’ll play for his fourth team in less than a calendar year once he suits up for the Jets.
Thomas’ recent fall from grace is a little concerning, but there’s a tremendous amount of upside to his move to the Big Apple now that he’s reunited with head coach Adam Gase, who was his offensive coordinator with the Denver Broncos (2013 to 2014).
Thomas was at his very best in the two seasons that he and Gase were together in Denver, setting single-season career-highs in receptions (111), yards receiving (1,619) and touchdowns (14) with the latter calling the plays. Overall, the 31-year-old receiver racked up 203 receptions for 3,049 yards receiving and 25 touchdowns playing in Gase’s offense.
The above is pretty impressive, but comparing those numbers to Thomas’ career line truly puts everything into perspective. The table below displays the 31-year-old’s statistics with Gase as his offensive coordinator, statistics with other offensive coordinators and his career totals, with the percentage of production noted in parentheses.
Number of Seasons
Yes, you read that right. Despite entering his 10th year in the NFL this season, Thomas has recorded 32.7 percent of his career yards receiving, 29.5 percent of his career receptions and 40.3 percent of his career touchdowns in just two seasons under Gase.
Now, it could be argued that Thomas’ prolific 2013 and 2014 seasons were the product of his quarterback at the time, Peyton Manning, rather than Gase’s play calling, but let’s face it: After their inexplicable Week 1 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Jets needed to make a change.
Acquiring a familiar face in Thomas for a future sixth-rounder is an absolute steal and if he can rediscover even a sliver of the Pro Bowl form he displayed under Gase in Denver, Gang Green’s passing game will be in great shape going forward.