J.T. Thomas

NFL Workout Updates: 9/12/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM’s Twitter account:

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Giants Sign DT Khyri Thornton

The Giants have signed defensive tackle Khyri Thornton. In a related move, linebacker J.T. Thomas has been waived from injured reserve. Khyri Thornton (vertical)

Thornton, 28, was cut loose by the Lions last week. After a successful audition for the G-Men on Tuesday, the Giants moved quickly to sign him. In 2016, Thornton appeared in 13 games for Detroit and earned himself a two-year extension. This year, however, Thorton missed the start of the year with a suspension and looked rusty upon his return. He’ll now try to turn over a new leaf with the 2-9 Giants.

Thomas was placed on IR in September, resulting in a second consecutive lost season. Thomas signed a three-year, $12MM free agent deal in 2015, but he did not live up to the contract. His Giants stint ends with 43 tackles and half a sack in 15 games. In the last two seasons, he made it to the field for just three games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Place LB J.T. Thomas On IR

For the second straight season, J.T. Thomas won’t make it out of September because of an injury. The Giants placed the veteran linebacker on IR, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post (on Twitter), potentially ending his season.

The Giants also waived fullback Shane Smith. Linebacker Deontae Skinner and defensive end Nordly Capi will replace the duo on the 53-man roster, per Schwartz (on Twitter).

Thomas signed a three-year, $12MM deal in 2015 but did not live up to it largely because of lack of availability. The former Jaguars linebacker started 11 games that season but has played in just three since.

His deal expiring after this season, the 29-year-old second-level defender won’t have the same kind of free agent market he did when he inked the Giants accord. He accepted a significant pay cut before the season, reducing his 2017 salary from $2.96MM to $775K. He was set to receive a $400K bonus if he participated in 70 percent of the Giants’ snaps, which looked like a long shot at the time.

Skinner played in four games with the Giants last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants’ J.T. Thomas Takes Pay Cut

J.T. Thomas‘ odds of making the Giants’ 53-man roster have improved. The linebacker accepted a major pay cut, taking his salary from $2.975MM to $775K in 2017, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The reworked deal includes a roster bonus of $20K plus a $400K bonus if he plays in 70% of the team’s snaps. J.T. Thomas (vertical)

The playing time bonus is hardly an automatic for Thomas. The 29-year-old suffered a season-ending knee injury in last year’s season opener and appeared in only 12 games in 2015, his debut season with the Giants.

When Thomas came to the Giants on a three-year, $10MM deal, he was signed to be the team’s starting weakside linebacker. This time around, he’s fighting to make the cut as a special teams player and backup linebacker. On the plus side, coach Ben McAdoo has expressed confidence in Thomas’ abilities.

He’s working through individuals and we’ll have a plan to build him up as we go. We’re not going to rush into anything with him,” McAdoo said earlier this week. “He’s got a chance to build himself up, play some meaningful games as we go. There’s a pretty good chance he won’t play this next ball game, but he’ll have a chance to play here shortly.

Thomas will now battle it out with Curtis Grant, Mark Herzlich, Calvin Munson, and Deontae Skinner for the final linebacker spots on the roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Place J.T. Thomas On IR

The Giants announced that they have placed J.T. Thomas on injured reserve. Thomas suffered torn ligaments in his left knee during their season-opening win against the Cowboys. In a related move, kicker Josh Brown has been reinstated to the 53-man roster after serving his one-game suspension. J.T. Thomas (vertical)

Thomas was with the special teams unit on the field when the injury happened. During the kickoff to close out the first half, Thomas was chasing after Lucky Whitehead and working to shed a block when he was hit in the knee. Thomas spent much of the summer on the PUP list with a hamstring injury and accepted a pay cut just days ago to remain with the team.

Thomas signed a three-year, $10MM deal with the Giants prior to the 2015 season. The 28-year-old missed four games in his first Giants season but played in 12 games with a career-high 11 starts at weakside linebacker. All in all, he had 43 tackles and three special teams tackles.

Brown, of course, was handed a one-game suspension for his role in a May 2015 arrest on domestic violence charges. When additional information came out about the allegations, Brown found himself at the center of a national controversy as many believed his punishment was too lenient.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants’ J.T. Thomas Accepts Pay Cut

J.T. Thomas will remain with the Giants for the upcoming season after accepting a pay cut. Thomas has gone from a $2.975MM in base salary this season to $1.5MM, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. However, Thomas will be able to earn $100K in per-game roster bonuses and $550K in playing-time incentives. All in all, that’s a potential pay cut of $1.375MM for 2016. J.T. Thomas (vertical)

Thomas signed a three-year, $10MM deal with the Giants last offseason after he appeared in all 16 games for the Jaguars the year prior and made ten starts. The 28-year-old is still signed through 2017 and Raanan writes that the final year of his deal remains untouched for now.

Thomas missed most of the summer with a hamstring injury, putting him on the roster bubble. He also struggled last season. However, the Giants still value him as a special teams contributor and he may see some time as a backup to Jonathan Casillas at weakside linebacker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/31/15

For the final time in 2015, let’s take a look at the today’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • With Johnny Manziel banged up, the Browns announced that they’ve signed fellow quarterback Pat Devlin, who spent the final preseason game of 2015 on Cleveland’s roster. Austin Davis will start Sunday’s contest as Manziel deals with a concussion, and Devlin will presumably act as the backup. Linebacker Jayson DiManche was waived in a corresponding move.
  • The Giants announced that they’ve placed linebacker J.T. Thomas (ankle) and long snapper Danny Aiken (thumb) on injured reserve, ending both their seasons. In their stead, New York has elevated linebacker Nico Johnson from its practice squad, while signing free agent long snapper Tyler Ott.

Giants Sign J.T. Thomas

WEDNESDAY, 9:39pm: The Giants announced that Thomas’ signing is official, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News tweets.

TUESDAY, 5:09pm: The Giants are set to sign linebacker J.T. Thomas, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’ll be a three-year deal worth $12MM with $4.5MM fully guaranteed.

Thomas, 27 in August, appeared in all 16 games for the Jaguars last season and made ten starts. In total, he had a career-high 85 tackles to go with five pass deflections and two forced fumbles. Pro Football Focus (subscription required) wasn’t all that impressed with Thomas’ play in 2014, giving him an overall grade of -16.1, placing him as one of the worst inside linebackers in the NFL.

Linebacker was an area of need for the Giants this offseason, but the size of the deal given to Thomas is rather surprising given his previous body of work.

Contract Details: Franklin, Kern, Cole, Vereen

A few details on some noteworthy new contracts from around the NFL:

  • Orlando Franklin, G (Chargers): Five years, $35.5MM base value. $15.5MM fully guaranteed at signing (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Brett Kern, P (Titans): Five years, $15MM base value. $2.5MM signing bonus. $5MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com).
  • Trent Cole, OLB (Colts): Two years, $14MM base value. $2MM signing bonus. $8MM guaranteed at signing. $1MM annually in playing-time/sack incentives (Twitter links via Joel Corry of CBSSports.com).
  • Shane Vereen, RB (Giants): Three years, $12.3MM base value. $3.5MM signing bonus. $4.75MM guaranteed (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • J.T. Thomas, LB (Giants): Three years, $10MM base value. $4.5MM guaranteed. $1MM annual escalators in 2016, 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Virgil Green, TE (Broncos): Three years, $8.4MM base value. $4.2MM guaranteed. Max value of $11.25MM (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Sergio Brown, S (Jaguars): Three years, $7MM base value. $1MM guaranteed. Escalators can push total value up to $9MM (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Ed Dickson, TE (Panthers): Three years, $6.8MM base value. $2MM signing bonus ($700K deferred) (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Joe Berger, OL (Vikings): Two years, $2.155MM base value. $130K guaranteed. $800K available in incentives (Twitter link via Pelissero).

AFC Notes: Chiefs, Raiders, Jaguars

Having officially made the decision today to use their non-exclusive franchise tag on Justin Houston, the Chiefs will be back over the projected cap for 2015 until they make some more cuts or restructure some contracts. Still, that doesn’t mean the team won’t be able to eke out some cap room to potentially make some moves in free agency, as chairman Clark Hunt said this weekend (link via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star).

“We always want to be a smart player in free agency,” Hunt said. “We want to sign guys that can be here and make a contribution, not necessarily (sign) somebody just because he makes a splash. … We also pay a lot of attention to the salary cap because you … can spend whatever you want and circumvent the cap, but every one of those dollars eventually comes back and hits you on the cap. So when we look at the salary cap, I’m not just looking at 2015, I’m thinking about 2016, 2017. So those decisions are made in that context.”

Let’s round up a few more items from around the AFC….

  • Teams like the Raiders and Jaguars will have to spend over the next two years to reach the NFL’s minimum requirement of 89% of the cap over a four-year period, and both clubs have the cap space to make a splash in free agency this month. However, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link) points out that both teams have starting quarterbacks eligible for extensions after the 2016 season, so if Blake Bortles and Derek Carr develop as expected, the Raiders and Jags could extend them prior to the 2017 league year as a means of reaching that 89% threshold. In other words, there’s no urgency to reach that minimum threshold immediately.
  • In another video for Bleacher Report, Cole weighs in on Percy Harvin, reiterating what we’ve heard as of late: the Jets receiver appears open to restructuring his deal, but not to taking a pay cut. Harvin is confident that he’ll do fairly well on the open market, and it looks like that’s where he’ll end up, since the Jets are very unlikely to keep him at his current price.
  • The Jaguars have yet to decide whether or not to tender contract offers to any of their players eligible for restricted free agency, tweets Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. The club has been in touch with UFAs Tyson Alualu and J.T. Thomas though.