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Revisiting the David Thomas trade

With the Saints hosting the Cardinals in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs, the thought came to mind to recap tight end David Thomas's season.

Patriots fans recall that Thomas, a 2006 third-round New England draft choice, was traded to the Saints in September. The Patriots acquired a 2011 seventh-round draft choice for Thomas.

So how did the deal work out?

Thomas played in 15 regular-season games with eight starts, and finished with a career-high 35 receptions, and one touchdown. He was the No. 2 option at tight end behind Jeremy Shockey (48 catches), and part of an offense that was defined by its diversity and numerous options.

As for the Patriots, their tight ends weren't major factors as pass catchers. Benjamin Watson had 29 receptions, while Chris Baker had 14.

While any final analysis of the deal would have to account for what the Patriots do with that seventh-round draft choice, at this point the deal looks like a clear win for the Saints.

Given the Patriots' season-long search for other options outside of Randy Moss and Wes Welker, and future questions at tight end with Watson's contract expiring, one could make the point that they gave up on Thomas too early.