NEW YORK — The New York Jets are getting some roster help from the most unlikely of sources: Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

Adam Gase’s squad acquired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from the Patriots for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick on Tuesday, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams had not yet announced the trade.

ESPN first reported the deal — the first trade between the AFC East rivals since Bill Belichick took over as the Patriots’ coach in 2000. The last trade between the teams was actually when Belichick left the Jets for the Patriots, and New York got a first-round pick.

Thomas became expendable for the Patriots when they signed Antonio Brown over the weekend.

The 31-year-old Thomas gives the Jets’ receiving group an immediate boost, joining Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Jamison Crowder. The move also comes a day after Gase made it clear he wasn’t pleased with the receivers’ overall performance in a 17-16 season-opening loss to Buffalo.

Thomas has 688 receptions for 9,330 yards and 62 touchdowns. He played for the Broncos from 2010 until being traded to Houston last October for a seventh-round draft pick. He tore his Achilles late last season, was released by the Texans in February and signed with the Patriots in April.

COACH BILL Belichick said it was too early to tell whether Antonio Brown, who signed Monday and won’t practice until Wednesday, will be active Sunday at Miami. Brown was released by the Raiders last week and signed with New England.

“You know, I don’t know. We just acquired him yesterday,” Belichick said. “We haven’t practiced so I can’t answer that question now. We’ll take it day-by-day and see how it goes.”

Pressed on the potential of Brown to cause a distraction, Belichick thought back to another star receiver.

“That’s the same thing you said about Randy Moss when we brought him in,” Belichick said.

Moss had been a star in Minnesota, but his play and attitude suffered with when he joined the Oakland Raiders. In his first season with the Patriots, Moss caught 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns.

MARCUS CANNON’S shoulder injury won’t likely put him on injured reserve or keep him out long, but his status for Sunday’s game at Miami is still uncertain according to ESPN.

If Cannon, the starter at right tackle can’t go Sunday, the Patriots will have some decisions to make. Newly acquired tackle Korey Cunningham, who was inactive last week, could move in if he’s ready. Otherwise left guard Joe Thuney could move to tackle with Jermaine Eluemunor replacing him at guard.

“Certainly, it’s going to be a big challenge. Marcus is a good player, and we’re going to need some guys to step up and play well,” said offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. “And I think that’s going to be an important part of this week and our preparation going into Miami.”

The Patriots’ line has been in flux throughout camp. David Andrews is out for the season with blood clots in his lungs. The Patriots traded for Russell Bodine and then cut him.

TEXANS: Center Nick Martin signed a three-year, $33 million contract extension with Houston.

EAGLES: Defensive tackle Malik Jackson likely will be out for the rest of the season because of the Lisfranc injury he suffered Sunday in the season opener against Washington.

JETS: Defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd has been suspended six games by the NFL for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancers.

• New York signed Sam Ficken, their fourth kicker since July, to try to solve their ongoing kicking woes, and waived Kaare Vedvik after he missed an extra point and a 45-yard field-goal attempt in the Jets’ 17-16 season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

STEELERS: Pittsburgh will likely be without fullback and special teams captain Rosie Nix on Sunday in Seattle. Coach Mike Tomlin said Nix is dealing with a knee injury sustained in a 33-3 loss to New England. Nix did not play an offensive snap against the Patriots and the Steelers struggled to convert a series of short-yardage situations in the second and third quarters while getting blown out on the road, though Tomlin downplayed Nix’s absence as a factor.

WASHINGTON: Running back Derrius Guice is dealing with a knee injury, and while it remains unclear how long he will be out, it appears unlikely he’ll be able to play in Sunday’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

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