In what came as some slightly surprising move, yesterday the Jets released the longest tenured Jet, Bryan Thomas. Thomas has been slowed by a hamstring injury and the Jets needed the roster spot to activate another player to the roster because of other injuries.
With cornerback Ellis Lankster dealing with a back injury, the Jets needed some depth at the cornerback position and Thomas wasn’t going to be able to play this week because of the hamstring. So the Jets released Thomas and signed rookie cornerback Donnie Fletcher to the active 53-man roster.
The Jets clearly didn’t want to risk losing one of their young practice squad players and instead chose to release Thomas, although there’s a good chance this move is for a limited time only. Thomas is now a free-agent, free to sign with whichever team would have him. At 33 years old and dealing with an injury there’s not likely to be many teams knocking on Thomas’ door and after playing his entire career with the Jets and his career coming towards it’s end Thomas might not feel like shopping himself and moving to another team for the rest of this year either.
Thomas’ contract was already guaranteed and Garrett McIntyre played really well last week filling in for the injured Thomas. Thomas is limited in what he can bring now, still an quality run stopper, but McIntyre can defend the run as well and showed last week he can apply some pressure on the quarterback, neither of them are very good in coverage.
This move does not necessarily mean Thomas’ time with the Jets is over, if he can get healthy the Jets will likely bring him back when they get their roster issues worked out. The question then becomes can he get healthy and stay healthy? After dealing with multiple injuries over the last couple of years it’s fair to wonder how much his body can still hold up after playing 11 seasons in the league.
For now Thomas will stay at home and rest that hamstring as Fletcher takes his spot on the roster for this week, leaving Brandon Moore as the longest tenured Jet, but chances are you will see Thomas donning a Jets jersey again very soon.
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