Over the weekend, the New England Patriots decided to cut their roster size down to 80 by releasing 10 players. Of those 10 players, seven went undrafted this year and were signed by the six-time Super Bowl champions following the draft.
One of the more controversial players that went undrafted, was signed by New England and is still on the roster following the first wave of cuts is former Miami University wide receiver Jeff Thomas.
How did he survive through the first round of cuts? Well, according to The Athletic's Jeff Howe, Thomas had a "good" spring, which included participating in the team's virtual offseason program.
Thomas is very talented. But he went undrafted, and is set to make the least amount of guaranteed money on the team because of his work ethic. The wideout was kicked off the Miami football team in 2018 (though he did return to the team), and has a bad reputation for not putting in the work leading up to game day. This is why, despite having draftable talent, Thomas went undrafted.
But it appears he is progressing in the right direction. Making it through the initial roster cuts shows us that Thomas is putting in the work and is doing enough to be on the roster when the team hits the practice field sometime next week.
Once training camp is officially underway, Thomas has the opportunity to carve out a role for himself and make the 53-man roster. After Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu and N'Keal Harry, there are question marks for New England at the receiver position. Couple that with the fact that Thomas is a capable punt returner, and he could be fighting for a roster spot against Gunner Olszewski, who made the team last year as a UDFA and was the team's primary punt returner before landing on IR on Nov. 19.
If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that the Patriots could use some explosive talent at the receiver position. Jeff Thomas brings just that, so here's to hoping he continues to grind and impress throughout the month of August.