The deal with Adalius
Way back when, in early March, there was much talk around the league that two-time Pro Bowl selection Adalius Thomas was on his way out of New England.
Many speculated (including us here at JetsInsider) that Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who coached Thomas in Baltimore, would be more than interested in adding the veteran linebacker to his defensive unit. Days turned into weeks, weeks into a month, without any divorce papers by the Patriots and Thomas.
Meanwhile, the Jets went to work, turning their attention to longtime Dolphin foe Jason Taylor, eventually inking the 35-year-old to a two-year deal. Adding Taylor to a linebacking core which already includes Bart Scott, Calvin Pace, David Harris, Bryan Thomas, and Jamaal Westerman, seemed to end any possibility of a “Raven Reunion” between Thomas and Ryan in New York.
Monday, following a draft weekend in which New England selected two-thirds of the University of Florida’s linebacking core, the Patriots finally cut ties with the 32-year-old Thomas. About a week too late, right? Think again.
Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, appearing on WFAN’s Boomer & Carton show Tuesday morning, did not rule the possibility of the Jets pursuing Thomas. “Maybe down the line,” said Tannenbaum. “But really nothing imminent right now. We’re going to stand pat with what we have. Maybe down the line, we’ll add a player of two. Nothing on the horizon.”
If the Jets were to bring in Thomas, they would most certainly need to move on of their current linebackers, with Bryan Thomas being the most likely of casualties. But would it be worth it?
Many believe that Thomas, who recorded 148 tackles and 14.5 sacks during a disappointing three-year stint in New England, simply is no longer the imposing defensive menace he once was. Others say that Thomas simply just needed a change of scenery and couldn’t quite hack it in Bill Belichick’s system.
If there’s any coach that resurrect the once proud career of the veteran linebacker, it’s Rex Ryan. Thomas thrived in Ryan’s defensive unit in Baltimore, earning All-Pro honors in ‘06 as well as Pro Bowl selections in ‘03 and ‘06.
It will definitely be interesting to watch how this situation develops in the coming weeks. My guess: When the Jets head up to Cortland for training camp in July, Adalius will be on the bus.
…And a new deal for Gholston
Earlier this week, multiple outlets reported that the Jets have restructured the contract of 2008 first round pick, Vernon Gholston. According to Jason La Canfora of NFL.com, Gholston will receive a base salary of $2.25 million in 2010, in addition to a $4 million signing bonus and a workout bonus of $250,000.
But the real catch comes in 2011, when Gholston’s base salary will drop to $550,000 with the other possible $11.5 million coming from a roster bonus in March and performance-based incentives. So what exactly does this all mean for the Jets?
Assuming the cap returns in ‘11, the Jets will be able to get out of Gholston’s contract without taking a significant cap hit, while giving him one last real chance to contribute. If Gholston thrives next season at his new position of defensive end, he can receive up to $9 million in incentives. If he tanks and continues his unproductive play, the Jets can cut him before March without shelling out a penny. Everybody wins.
One can only hope that in year three of the Vernon Gholston experiment (and year two under Rex Ryan), the young linebacker-turned-defensive end will finally begin to produce at the level that was expected of him back in ‘08. In 29 professional games, Gholston has shown next to nothing, recording only 30 tackles and still searching for his first career sack.
For Gholston, it’s now or never.
Mini-camp set to begin
This weekend in Florham Park, the Jets plan to look at a number of undrafted free agents and NFL hopefuls as they host their 2010 Mini-camp on Friday and Saturday at the facility.
According to Manish Mehta of The Star-Ledger, the team has invited the following list of players to participate this weekend:
Undrafted free agents:
Kevin Basped, LB, Nevada
Keith Buckman, OG, North Dakota State
Jeff Cumberland, TE, Illinois
Brian Jackson, CB, Oklahoma
Jason Lamb, DE, Baylor
Broderick Stewart, LB, Vanderbilt
Matt Stommes, OT, Minnesota
Charlie Tanner, OG, Texas
Don Warren , S, Michigan
Ernest Williams, DT, Pittsburgh
Alex Brink, QB, Washington State
Marcus Burton, LB, Colorado
Mickey Dean, RB, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Marcus Ezeff, S, California
Philip Kirkland, WR, Bethune-Cookman
Marlon Lucky, RB, Nebraska
Wesley Lyons, WR, West Virginia
Donye McCleskey, S, Indiana State
Damon McDaniel, WR, Hampton
Michael Owen, TE, Syracuse
Erik Pedersen, LB, Portland State
Mark Petro, PK, Hillsdale
Jesse Rack, TE, Buffalo
Cory Reamer, LB, Alabama
Brooks Rossman, PK, Kansas State
Brashton Satele, LB, Hawaii
Alebert Toeaina, OT, Tennessee
Simi Toeaina, NT, Oregon
Eric Ward, QB, Richmond
Anthony Wiseman, CB, Maryland