"Well I think he's a quality practice squad player," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday. "He was a roster player for us. He was a roster player for Oakland. So to have that level of player on our roster, but not on our roster, it's good. It gives us a lot of quality depth there. We had that same player basically on our team, but as a roster player."
"We'll see how long it takes, but it shouldn't be too long from a relearning standpoint," Belichick continued. "He's a good learner, but to just get back in to what we're doing and all that, to be able to compete for playing time based on where he was in the year before. And it looks like, based on a short look yesterday, it looks like he still has good skills to contribute. He's got the experience to play in the slot, which he did more in Oakland than he did here. He's kind of developed some versatility, so we'll see how it goes. But I think we're happy to have him and a player of his caliber in that position."
The Pats are carrying just four receivers on the 53-man roster -- Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Aaron Dobson and undrafted rookie Chris Harper. Harper impressed in the preseason, and perhaps the Patriots were afraid to expose him to waivers if they intended to get him on the practice squad. It would seem as though Thompkins could make a push for the No. 4 receiver spot, the story said. Granted, the No. 4 receiver may not have a ton of opportunities. Expect plenty of two tight end sets with Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler early in the season. Also, if Travaris Cadet is healthy, he can line up at receiver, too.