In a somewhat surprising roster move, the New York Jets have released veteran linebacker Bryan Thomas, their longest tenured player.
The move comes a day before their Week 3 game against the Miami Dolphins, and the Jets have signed defensive back Donnie Fletcher up from the practice squad to the active roster to take Thomas’ spot.
Thomas would not have played this week anyway as he recovers from a nagging hamstring injury. He will be missed, though, especially with the Dolphins’ strong running game on offense.
The 33-year old is an outstanding run defender, even in his 11th NFL season, and he sets the edge as well as anybody on the Jets roster.
His 2012 salary is already guaranteed, so it would stand to reason that the Jets will try to re-sign him as soon as he’s healthier, perhaps even as soon as Monday morning.
Thomas suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in 2011 and the Jets struggled to replace his edge-setting abilities on defense.
This week against Reggie Bush, who does some of his best work running outside the tackles, the Jets will need a find a way to keep him in check somehow.
That task gets a lot more difficult without Thomas. While he wouldn’t have played anyway, it’s curious that the Jets would choose to cut him now.
That being said, it makes sense that the Jets wanted an extra healthy defensive back with backups Ellis Lankster and Isaiah Trufant a little banged up. Fletcher gives them more depth at that spot.
I have to believe that Thomas was the guy they decided to let go because they believe he’ll be the easiest player to re-sign later on. I expect to see Thomas back in a Jets uniform sooner rather than later.
For more NFL Rumors, check out the Rant Sports NFL Rumors page