Mike Thomas was the top receiver for an extremely dismal Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver unit in 2011, but he might be in danger of not being on the team in 2012.
Thomas had emerged as one of the Jaguars top offensive weapons over his first two and a half seasons in the NFL, but his production and effort seemed to drop off after he inked a three-year, $18 million contract extension last fall. Many believe the biggest reason for Thomas’ drop off in production last year was his move from the slot receiver position his size and speed best suited him for to the Jaguars top receiving option on the outside.
The Jaguars spent this offseason revamping their weak receiver corps and it was presumed that Thomas would move back into the slot, where he was most comfortable. However, reports out of Jaguars training camp suggest that Thomas has been passed up on the depth chart by second year receiver Cecil Shorts in the slot.
Even worse for Thomas is that he has already been called out by new Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey for his early training camp struggles with drops. Other have also noted that Thomas has been giving less than his best effort, much like he was guilty of last season after signing his contract extension.
At this point it appears that Justin Blackmon, Laurent Robinson, Lee Evans and Shorts have locked up four of the presumed five roster spots the Jaguars are reserving for wide receivers. This would put Thomas squarely in a fight for a roster spot with some of the younger and hungrier receivers the Jaguars having in camp.
At this point the Jaguars would be better off by cutting Thomas if he is not one of the five best receivers they have on their roster and moving on to a receiver that has a better chance to be a long term contributor for this team in the future.