Patriots release of Demaryius Thomas doesn't necessarily mean the marriage is over

Patriots release of Demaryius Thomas doesn't necessarily mean the marriage is over

When the Patriots announce their initial 53-man roster, Demaryius Thomas won't be there. But that doesn't mean Thomas is done in New England.

According to Ian Rapoport, the 31-year-old who reeled in two touchdown receptions in the preseason finale on Thursday is being released less than 48 hours later. But unlike younger players, Thomas isn't subject to waivers. That means that if he wants to wait for Bill Belichick's call to return to the Patriots locker room, he can do that.

The Patriots are in roster-shuffling mode right now, and one way for them to optimize the talent they're able to keep in-house is by placing injured players on the initial 53-man roster before moving them to injured reserve. Those players can then return off of IR at midseason to provide a lift. Perhaps, then, if the Patriots clear a roster spot for Thomas soon, he'll make his way back.

It certainly looked like Thomas was capable of helping the Patriots when he was targeted eight times against the Giants in the fourth preseason game and caught seven of them for 87 yards and two scores. About eight months removed from an Achilles tear, Thomas broke off routes relatively sharply and looked strong coming off the line of scrimmage.

"I was excited," he said after the game, "especially first game coming back from tearing my Achilles, getting out to make a couple plays. You know, I was excited about it and I look to build on it and keep getting better."

As of now, it looks like the Patriots receiver depth chart will include Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, N'Keal Harry, Phillip Dorsett and Jakobi Meyers. The team will also keep Gunner Olszewski on the active roster, and he has worked out with Patriots receivers all summer. Olszewski's value as a return man, though, is probably what earned him a spot.

For now, Thomas isn't factoring into the Patriots 53-man equation. But that could only be temporary.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Patriots' Stephon Gilmore disagrees with Rex Ryan's critique of Amari Cooper

Patriots' Stephon Gilmore disagrees with Rex Ryan's critique of Amari Cooper

Former New York Jets and Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan made waves Friday for his harsh critique of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper.

On ESPN's Get Up, Ryan blasted the Cowboys for signing Cooper to a five-year, $100 million contract this offseason. It's one thing to be critical, but Ryan even went as far as to call Cooper a "turd," which probably isn't the most politically-correct way to evaluate a player.

“I wouldn’t have paid this guy. To me, this is the biggest disappearing act in the National Football League,” Ryan said. “He doesn’t show up on the road. He doesn’t show up against — when the competition’s good, when he’s against the top corners, that guy disappears.

“This is who he is. Doesn’t love football. Hell with it, he stops his routes, he does all this. I wouldn’t have paid this turd. No way in hell. No way in hell would I have paid this guy.”

So yeah, pretty harsh.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who played for Ryan on the Bills from 2015-16, caught wind of his former coach's comments and made it clear he disagrees.

That's some high praise from the two-time first-team All-Pro. Especially after Gilmore locked Cooper down back in November by holding him without a catch.

Both Ryan and Gilmore are entitled to their opinions, but calling Cooper a "turd" was a bit over the line. After all, Cooper is coming off a 2019 season in which he tallied 79 receptions while setting career-highs in both receiving yards (1,189) and touchdowns (eight). Not exactly turd-like.

Anyway, Gilmore definitely has Ryan putting his foot in his mouth after those controversial remarks.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

NFL Rumors: Number of teams interested in Brady 'bigger than people realize'

NFL Rumors: Number of teams interested in Brady 'bigger than people realize'

On the surface, it didn't seem like Tom Brady had a lot of free-agent suitors. After announcing that he wouldn't be returning to the New England Patriots, the two teams he was connected to were the Los Angeles Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But evidently, there were more than just a few teams that showed interest in Brady this offseason.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

In a recent appearance on WEEI's OMF show, ESPN's NFL insider Adam Schefter confirmed that many teams had conversations about Brady this offseason.

"There were a lot of teams that went through the conversation of if and when Tom Brady does hit the market, do we make a move," Schefter said. "There were teams out there that had that conversation that you’d be surprised to hear. It wasn’t just a few teams."

But just how many teams were interested in Brady? Schefter couldn't quite say, but he did say "the number was bigger than people realize."

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

Throughout the lead-up to free agency, Brady was connected to a number of other teams in rumors, including the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders, and even the San Francisco 49ers. So, it stands to reason that some of those teams, and potentially others, at least discussed the possibility of bringing in Brady.

Of course, all of these teams chose different paths at quarterback. The Colts elected to go with Philip Rivers on a one-year deal for a very specific reason. The Titans handed Ryan Tannehill a four-year extension. The Raiders elected to stick with Derek Carr but added Marcus Mariota to compete with him. And the 49ers, fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, are continuing to trust Brady's former backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, as their starting QB.

Ultimately, the number of teams interested in Brady never mattered much. There only needed to be one to get him to leave New England. That's exactly what happened and now, Brady will be suiting up for the Bucs.

Meanwhile, the Patriots will begin the post-Brady era in 2020. Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer are the only two QBs on the roster, and Stidham is favored to be the starter at the moment.