Donald Thomas

Workout Notes: Jets, Giants, Pats, Colts

Wednesday’s workouts from around the NFL:

Workout Notes: Patriots, Texans, Chargers

The latest workouts from around the NFL:

AFC Notes: Raiders, Texans, Broncos, Workouts

As the possibility of losing the Raiders again continues to loom over the city, Oakland is continuing to formulate solutions on a path to a new stadium.

Mayor Libby Schaaf has initiated a process of bringing to light yet another stadium proposal with the goal of having it ready to present in the next couple of weeks, per Phil Matier and Andy Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle, who write this operation’s plan is to present this proposal to a special league committee — rather than the owners — by December.

Despite bringing in a consulting firm, Schaaf faces an uphill battle in procuring a land deal that will please the parties involved. The Raiders’ believing they should not have to pay for that part of the process is not sitting well with the city or Alameda County, Matier and Ross note.

The Bay Area scribes, however, hear that Oakland has the trump card in this standoff: the fact that Raiders owner Mark Davis does not have the votes to move and is lagging behind the Rams and Chargers, the latter once agreeing on a significant partnership for a Carson, Calif.-based stadium, in the Los Angeles sweepstakes.

The league desires a wealthier owner that will make an L.A. return profitable, per the Chronicle’s investigative-reporting tandem, and Davis doesn’t match up. He’s in the process of taking on a partner to help aid this potential relocation financially.

Let’s look at some additional AFC items.

  • Ryan Mallett remains eligible to collect $1.47MM from the Texans in termination pay, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle writes. The Texans are carrying this figure on their 2015 payroll after extracting themselves from the two-year, $7.01MM contract they signed Mallett to in March. The reeling signal-caller can file for his remaining 10 game checks, each totaling $147K+, but the Texans are not on the hook for any money in 2016.
  • Bill O’Brien and GM Rick Smith‘s indecisiveness on their quarterback situation should put their jobs at risk, writes the Chronicle’s Jerome Solomon.
  • In advance of a matchup with the 6-0 Packers, the Broncos‘ coaching staff was noticeably stricter this week, players told Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post
  • The Colts kicked the tires on former free agent acquisition and starting guard Donald Thomas today, Field Yates of reports (Twitter link). Thomas played two games for Indianapolis in 2013 before suffering a season-ending injury. The former Patriots lineman sustained another in 2014, and the Colts cut his comeback short when they released him before the season.
  • The Jets worked out former Chiefs center and sixth-round pick Eric Kush on Friday, Wilson reports (on Twitter). Current Kansas City center Mitch Morse beat out Kush for the position this summer.
  • The Browns brought in defensive tackles Joe Vellano, Terry Williams and Toby Johnson for workouts this week, according to Wilson (on Twitter).
  • J.R. Tavai worked out for the Titans this week, Wilson tweets. The rookie outside linebacker who the Titans cut just before the season also tried out for the Packers earlier this week.

Colts Cut Donald Thomas, Trim Roster To 75

3:26pm: The Colts are down to 75 players, after announcing this afternoon that they’ve waived/injured cornerback Deveron Carr. Carr will land on the team’s IR list if he clears waivers.

8:23am: In addition to releasing Thomas, the Colts have also cut 11 other players this morning, and placed two more on reserve lists, reducing their roster to 76 players. Here’s the full list of Indianapolis roster moves:


  • Harland Gunn, G
  • Nicklas Haag, ILB
  • Zach Hodges, OLB
  • Tyler Hoover, T
  • Ryan Lankford, WR
  • Jeris Pendleton, DT
  • Ezell Ruffin, WR
  • Justin Shirk, ILB
  • Justin Sinz, TE
  • Abou Toure, RB
  • Brandon Vitabile, C


  • Donald Celiscar, CB

Placed on injured reserve:

  • Tevin Mitchel, CB

8:04am: The Colts have parted ways with another offensive lineman from their 2013 free agent class, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who reports (via Twitter) that the club has released veteran guard Donald Thomas. Indianapolis also cut tackle Gosder Cherilus earlier in the offseason.

Thomas, who turns 30 next month, signed a four-year deal with the Colts in 2013 after having made 21 starts in four seasons for the Dolphins and Patriots. However, multiple quad injuries prevented him from seeing the field much in Indianapolis — Thomas played just two regular season contests in 2013 and none in 2014 before starting this year on the team’s physically unable to perform list. The former sixth-round pick was activated from the PUP list last week.

Had the Colts kept Thomas on their roster, he would’ve counted for a cap hit of $3.75MM in 2015, an exorbitant charge for a player who hasn’t seen any significant game action for a couple years. By cutting him, the Colts will reduce his cap numbers to just $250K each for 2015 and 2016. Thomas, meanwhile, will immediately become a free agent, giving him the opportunity to sign with any team.

AFC Notes: Brady, Smith, Thomas, Heyward

Here are some items from around the AFC on Saturday with teams set to begin OTA sessions.

  • The Broncos added two defensive linemen to push Derek Wolfe and Malik Jackson in training camp and to likely spell the incumbents off the bench this season. But that depth could be in jeopardy after word surfaced of an investigation into Antonio Smith‘s alleged child abuse, writes longtime Broncos reporter Mike Klis of 9News. With the NFL showing it does not need the justice system to dole out significant punishment, Klis points out Smith now faces a battle to wear a Broncos uniform. Of the one-year, $2MM contract Smith signed in April, only his $500K signing bonus is guaranteed. Smith, 33, and Vance Walker are the only Broncos with NFL experience as 3-4 defensive ends.
  • Facebook-frequenting Patriots fans have organized a “Free Tom Brady” rally set for Sunday at Gillette Stadium, according to The quarterback’s quest to not miss all of September due to his Deflategate-induced suspension endured a blow Friday when Roger Goodell refused to recuse himself from the future hall of famer’s appeal.
  • After right quadricep tears forced season-ending surgeries for Colts guard Donald Thomas the past two years, his status is murky going into a third year of a four-year, $14MM contract. The soon-to-be-30-year-old cog’s inability to resume football activities yet, per Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, do not help his push to regain the starting left guard spot. Missing 30 of a possible 32 games since signing with the Colts in 2013, Thomas re-tore his quad last July and counts $3.75MM against the team’s cap this year. 2014 second-rounder Jack Mewhort manned the position last season.
  • New Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler doesn’t figure to tinker too much with a successful blueprint, according to Teresa Varley of “I don’t think there are going to be too many changes,” Cameron Heyward told Varley. “It’s going to be the same details. We will have a couple of new wrinkles, but we won’t share them now.” 
  • The 2011 first-round defensive end also iterated a desire to play his entire career in Pittsburgh to Varley. A soon-to-be third-year starter, Heyward is set to be a free agent after the season, which will be played under the fifth-year option the team picked up in April. “The Steelers greats don’t go anywhere else. James (Harrison) did for a little bit, but he is already back. That is what I want to be, a Steelers great, and that means being here the rest of my life, football included and after,” Heyward said.

Minor Moves: Thursday

Thursday’s minor transactions from around the NFL will be rounded up below, with any moves reported or announced this afternoon or evening added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Bears signed offensive tackle Dennis Roland and waived fellow tackle Cody Booth, tweets Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. Adam Caplan of recently wrote that Roland was one of the best right tackles remaining on the open market.
  • The Chiefs waived rookie linebacker Ben Johnson to clear roster room for the signing of former Patriots safety Steve Gregory, tweets Adam Teicher of The Chiefs signed Johnson as a UDFA out of Tennessee-Martin and he participated in training camp practices despite missing time during OTAs with a hamstring injury.
  • The Dolphins have swapped one tight end for another, signing Raymond Webber and placing the recently-signed Brett Brackett on waivers, tweets Brian McIntyre.
  • Per Aaron Wilson (Twitter links), the Bills have removed defensive back Brandon Smith from their injured reserve list, while the Seahawks did the same with offensive lineman Jared Smith. The Seahawks reached an injury settlement with their Smith, though it’s not clear if Buffalo did the same.
  • Tim Twentyman of has the corresponding move for the Lions‘ signing of Redding (noted below), tweeting that the club has cut receiver Cody Wilson.

Earlier updates:

  • Tight end Anthony McCoy has been moved to injured reserve by the Seahawks, who replaced him on the roster with former USC wide receiver Ronald Johnson, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
  • According to his agent Joel E. Turner (Twitter link), rookie defensive end Kris Redding has signed with the Lions. Detroit currently has a full 90-man roster, so a corresponding move will be necessary when the team officially announces the signing of the Wake Forest product.
  • After missing most of last season with a torn quadriceps, Colts guard Donald Thomas suffered the same injury in practice this week, according to Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk. It’s disappointing news for Thomas and for the Colts, who signed the offensive lineman to a four-year, $14MM prior to the 2013 season and have only gotten two regular-season games out of him so far. With second-round pick Jack Mewhort seemingly poised to take over a starting role, Indianapolis has placed Thomas on IR, signing offensive lineman Eric Pike to fill his roster spot, tweets Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star.
  • The Bears swapped a couple players near the back-end of their roster today, signing offensive lineman Graham Pocic and waived wide receiver Terrence Toliver with an injury settlement, the team announced (via Twitter).

AFC Notes: Louis, Dareus, Thomas, Taylor

With Donald Thomas injured, Lance Louis, who hasn’t played since November 2012 because of a torn ACL injury, is working as the Colts’ first-team left guard, shares ESPN’s Mike Wells. Louis appeared to be an emerging talent in 2012 when he started the first 11 games for the Bears, and Colts GM Ryan Grigson took notice: “I was sitting watching the Bears (on tape) with Tom Telesco when we were preparing for them. I look at the tape and I said, ‘Who’s No. 60?’ I look him up in the system and the guy ran a 4.72 (40-yard dash) at 309 (pounds) coming out of San Diego State. He was faster than some of the receivers who are going to go in the second round this year. So, we’re watching that and we’re thinking, in free agency, this guy is going to break the bank because he’s the best player on their line. He gets his knee blown out and things change. We stayed on him all (last) year and the knee’s fine now and we have him here for two years. Hopefully he gets back to that level of play where he’s a good starter. He’s a guy who is completely off the radar who we’re optimistic about.”

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • A pair of off-season arrests for Bills defensive lineman Marcell Dareus has thrown his long-term stability into question, prompting Adam Schein of SiriusXM Mad Dog Radio (highlighted on the web by Pro Football Talk) to ask head coach Doug Marrone if Dareus “gets it.” The coach’s response? “That’s a good question.”
  • Steelers 6-4, 330-pound defensive lineman Cam Thomas, who signed a two-year, $4MM deal in March, is working at nose tackle and five-technique, writes Mark Kaboly of
  • Dolphins cornerback Jamar Taylor, a 2013 second-rounder, played just 40 snaps as a rookie after a pre-draft kidney ailment and subsequent sports hernia affected him. He’s healthy now and competing with Cortland Finnegan and Will Davis for available playing time between the No. 2 corner and nickel back jobs, writes ESPN’s James Walker, who also notes the Dolphins got just 1,126 snaps by their rookies last year, third-fewest in the league.
  • It was a tale of two seasons for Chiefs cornerback Marcus Cooper in 2013, writes ESPN’s Adam Teicher, who identifies Cooper as a young player who must improve. A seventh-rounder claimed on waivers, Cooper immediately “looked like he belonged,” earned the third cornerback job and “played better than either of the two starters for the first half of the season,” according to Teicher. However, Cooper’s play deteriorated during the second half of the season and he was demoted. At 6-2, 192 pounds, Cooper has the dimensions and physical tools the Chiefs desire, but the team needs more consistency out of him.
  • Because of free-agent departures, there’s competition for jobs up and down the Chiefs roster, details AP writer Dave Skretta.
  • MarQueis Gray, an undrafted college quarterback out of Minnesota, converted to tight end and stuck with the Browns last season, appearing in 12 games (two starts). The team is again tapping into his versatility, this time trying him at fullback, according to George M. Thomas in the Beacon Journal.