Demaryius Thomas

Adam Gase explains what Jets were looking for in Demaryius Thomas trade

Adam Gase explains what Jets were looking for in Demaryius Thomas trade

The New England Patriots hadn't made a trade with the New York Jets during Bill Belichick's 20-year tenure in Foxboro until the defending champs dealt veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Big Apple after their Week 1 win.

Thomas was signed by the Patriots in May, but after the addition of elite wide receiver Antonio Brown last week, they moved on from Thomas and sent him to the Jets for a 2021 sixth-round pick

Jets head coach Adam Gase was asked about the trade during his media conference call Wednesday, and he explained what New York was looking for when it made the call to the Patriots.

"I think when (Jets general manager) Joe Douglas came to me, and when (Antonio Brown) got there, we were kind of in a situation where if we could find somebody that had knowledge of the system, that could help us, that was somebody that fit what we were looking for, which obviously Demaryius does," Gase said. "We were trying to figure out, 'How could we go about this?' I think to Joe's credit, he was like, 'I'm just going to call him and the worst they could say is no.' And when they said, "Let's talk," then those guys worked it out."

Trading with a division rival is difficult, but Belichick isn't afraid to make that kind of move if he feels it will help his team.

"We don't want to help the Jets, and they don't want to help us," Belichick said Tuesday. "We're in the same division, so they're not the easiest trades to make. ... But in the end, if it helps us in the other 14 games and helps our team, then it's something that's worth considering. We'll try to help our team in any way we can."

Belichick also added: "When you look at the beginning of each year, inter-division trading is probably not something that you think is going to be at the top of the list," Belichick added. "But we traded with Buffalo this year, too (acquiring center Russell Bodine from the Bills), so we made two inter-division trades within a week. You never know."

Thomas made his Jets debut during Monday night's loss to the Cleveland Browns. He made one catch for minus-1 yard on two targets.

The 31-year-old wide receiver didn't participate in Wednesday's practice due to a hamstring/knee injury, so it's uncertain if he'll play against the Patriots on Sunday.

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Updated Patriots wide receivers list after Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas moves

Updated Patriots wide receivers list after Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas moves

The New England Patriots have undergone quite a bit of turnover at the wide receiver position over the last few months, weeks and days.

The Patriots made both a notable addition and subtraction at the position in just the last four days. They signed elite wide receiver Antonio Brown to a one-year contract worth up to $15 million -- a move that was officially announced Monday. Brown was released by the Oakland Raiders on Saturday, and the Pats reportedly had an agreement with him just a few hours later.

Demaryius Thomas was signed by the Patriots in May and debuted for the team in its fourth and final preseason game. He was inactive for New England's Week 1 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and reportedly was traded to the rival New York Jets for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick Tuesday.

Here's an updated look at the Patriots wide receivers in the wake of the Brown and Thomas transactions.

Antonio Brown
Julian Edelman
Josh Gordon
Phillip Dorsett
Jakobi Meyers (rookie)
Gunner Olszewski
N'Keal Harry (rookie, also on IR/eligible to return)
Cam Meredith (on PUP list)

The Patriots play the Miami Dolphins on the road Sunday in Week 2.

WATCH: Antonio Brown 'extremely grateful' to be with Patriots>>>

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NFL rumors: Patriots trade Demaryius Thomas to Jets for draft pick

NFL rumors: Patriots trade Demaryius Thomas to Jets for draft pick

The New England Patriots have made a trade with the rival New York Jets -- a first under Bill Belichick's tenure as head coach in Foxboro.

The Patriots dealt wide receiver Demaryius Thomas to the Jets on Tuesday for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. It's the first Patriots-Jets trade Belichick has made in New England.

Antonio Brown officially joined the Patriots on Monday, and the elite wide receiver's addition to the roster made New England pretty crowded at that position. 

Thomas was signed by the Patriots in May. He tore his Achilles as a member of the Houston Texans in December and was cleared to practice with the Patriots in August. He made his debut for the Pats in their fourth and final preseason game, where he tallied seven receptions for 87  yards and two touchdowns against the New York Giants.

The 31-year-old wideout was inactive for the Patriots' 33-3 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Week 1 matchup Sunday night.

The last trade between the two AFC East rivals was when Belichick left the Jets to become the Patriots coach in 2000: New England sent a first-, fourth- and fifth-round pick to the Jets on Jan. 27, 2000. 

WATCH: Antonio Brown 'extremely grateful' to be with Patriots>>>

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