When the Patriots cut Thomas on Saturday, there always seemed to be a chance he would return, and with New England placing rookie wideout N'Keal Harry on the injured reserve list on Monday, bringing Thomas back seemed like a natural fit.
Thomas split the 2018 campaign between the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans, catching 59 passes for 677 yards and five touchdowns before suffering a torn Achilles late in the season.
The 31-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Georgia Tech, was originally selected by the Broncos in the first round (22nd pick overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Thomas was actually disappointing over his first couple of years, logging just 22 catches for 283 yards and a couple of scores during his rookie season and catching 32 passes for 551 yards and four touchdowns in Year 2, but he broke out in 2012, hauling in 94 receptions for 1,434 yards while reaching the end zone 10 times, en route to a Pro Bowl appearance.
The Montrose, Ga. native went on to become one of the best receivers in the league, with his best year coming in 2014 when he snared 111 balls for 1,619 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Overall, Thomas made four Pro Bowls in Denver, racking up five consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns between 2012 and 2016.
Thomas will be competing for playing time with Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and Phillip Dorsett.
The Patriots will open up their season on Sunday night when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.