A first: Patriots trade Demaryius Thomas to Jets for 2021 late-round draft pick

NFL teams don’t often trade players to a divisional opponent, even one they’re basically giving away because they don’t have a spot for him.

No one likes a trade more than the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick, but even Belichick has had his limits.

Until Tuesday.

Reports: Demaryius Thomas traded to Jets

Via multiple reports, the Patriots have traded receiver Demaryius Thomas to the New York Jets of all teams, with New York sending a 2021 sixth-round pick to New England.

The Patriots signed Thomas in April, then released him on August 31, only to bring him back two days later.

However, with New England signing Antonio Brown, the receivers room got too crowded.

Thomas gets the chance to play for Adam Gase once again. Now the Jets’ head coach, Gase was the Denver Broncos’ receivers coach when Thomas was drafted by the team in 2010. They worked together until Gase left for Chicago in 2015.

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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles (7) is helped up by tight end Geoff Swaim (87) after being injured during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Chiefs defeated the Jaguars 40-26. (AP Photo/Perry Knotts)
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) rests on the sidelines, during the second half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Dallas Cowboys' Amari Cooper gains yardage after catching a pass as New York Giants free safety Antoine Bethea (41) makes the stop in the second half of a NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) called for a face mask penalty against Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) during the second half in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
El quarterback de los Chiefs de Kansas City, Patrick Mahomes (15), lanza un pase mientras es presionado por el defensive end de los Jaguars de Jacksonville, Josh Allen, durante la primera mitad de un juego de la NFL, el domingo 8 de septiembre de 2019, en Jacksonville, Florida. (AP Foto/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Philadelphia Eagles' DeSean Jackson, left, catches a touchdown pass against Washington Redskins' Josh Norman during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - SEPTEMBER 08: Tight end T.J. Hockenson #88 of the Detroit Lions catches a 23 yard touchdown against free safety D.J. Swearinger #36 of the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Lions and Cardinals tied 27-27. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 08: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the New York Jets makes a catch over Siran Neal #33 of the Buffalo Bills for a two point conversion during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 08, 2019 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
New England Patriots wide receiver Josh Gordon (10) runs for the goal line and a touchdown after catching a pass from Tom Brady in the first half an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Indianapolis Colts free safety Malik Hooker, right, intercepts a pass intended for Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, left, during the second half in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver Keenan Allen (13) catches a pass for a touchdown against Indianapolis Colts Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin (34) during an NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Los Angeles Chargers on September 08, 2019, at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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First trade with Jets of Belichick era

This is the first time during the Belichick era that the Patriots have completed a trade with their AFC East rivals. Recall that in 2000 New England had to surrender a first-round pick to sign Belichick as its head coach, after he abruptly resigned as Jets head coach.

Erik Scalavino of Patriots Football Weekly tweeted that Belichick has now made at least one trade with every other team in the NFL during his tenure as head coach and de facto general manager.

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