Patriots leaving door open for two veterans to return a day after cutting them

The Patriots cut ties with longtime backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas on Saturday as the defending Super Bowl champs trimmed down their 90-man roster to 53 players prior to the league's deadline. 

While New England sent those two packing, it may not be as permanent as once thought. 

As it relates to Hoyer, he was beat out by rookie quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who not only flashed his potential as an heir apparent to Tom Brady, but also showed that he could back up TB12 in the here and now. That impressive summer (along with other complications getting down to the 53-man roster) ultimately resulted in Hoyer's release. 

That said, head coach Bill Belichick seemingly has kept the door open for Hoyer to come back to the team at some point while speaking to reporters during a conference call on Sunday.  

"I thought both players played well in camp. I like both players," Belichick said of the backup quarterback battle and the decision to cut Hoyer, as transcribed by "But in the end, there a a number of considerations you have to make so we did what we felt was best for the team. I think Brian is a good player. It's a long season, so we'll see what happens."

Because he's a vested veteran, Hoyer doesn't have to be subjected to waivers and can sign with any team he chooses. 

With Demaryius Thomas, his release was a bit more surprising, especially after his impressive showing in New England's preseason finale where he caught seven passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns. 

While he is reportedly drawing interest around the league, it looks like the Patriots still have him in their plans for 2019. Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reports that the expectation is that Thomas re-signs. 

Similar to Hoyer, Thomas does not need to clear waivers, which opens an avenue for the Patriots to more easily bring him back. With the roster needing to be slimmed down, temporarily cutting Thomas is a way for Bill Belichick to bring over another player that likely wouldn't have been able to clear waivers or someone they'd only want to place on short-term IR. 

A Thomas return appears to be the most likely of the two between he and Hoyer, but don't call it a comeback if you see both of these veterans in Foxborough at some point this year.  

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