J.T. Thomas could end up back with the Jaguars
Now that the best statistical year of his career is over, linebacker J.T. Thomas has a decision to make on his future. A free agent, Thomas can either test the market or re-sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Signs are pointing to the latter.
ESPN’s Michael DiRocco broke down the list of free agents for the Jaguars and gave his expert take on which will likely return to the team. Thomas was among those which he thought would be back. Here’s what he had to say about the West Virginia linebacker:
He is an intriguing player because of his versatility. He played all three linebacker spots in 2014 and capably filled in for Paul Posluszny in the middle over the final nine games. He’s not Telvin Smith-fast but he’s athletic, runs well and could find a home at the otto linebacker spot. The Jaguars want him back and he wants to be back so it’d be a surprise if he weren’t.
Like DiRicco said, Thomas played most of the season in the middle for the Jaguars. He recorded 84 tackles, forced two fumbles and picked off two passes. His ranked fourth on the team in tackles, led the team in interceptions and was second on the squad in pass breakups (8). He also scored one of the franchise-record three defensive touchdown, a fumble recovery in the end zone against the New York Giants which ignited a 21-point comeback that led to one of the Jags’ three wins.
According to DeRicco, Thomas could move to the outside linebacker spot when Posluszny comes back from injury in 2015. That spot is currently owned by Geno Hayes, who DeRicco said likely won’t be resigned by the team. DeRicco said the Jags “need speed and playmakers at linebacker,” pointing to the fact that Hayes production went down this year.
After the season ended, Thomas didn’t sound like someone who wasn’t going to be a Jaguar in 2015.
“The 2014 Jaguars are going to be the foundation of where we’re heading and where we’re going,” Thomas told Jacksonville.com a few weeks ago. “I think we took some strides this year. Guys were forced to grow this year, myself included. It was really cool to be part of that process. I don’t think the guys will ever forget it. People will remember when we started turning things in the right direction.’’
But the most telling thing he said?
“I don’t think you should envision yourself anywhere else. Of course, I want to be a Jaguar. People know that and understand that.’’
In that same article, Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell and Posluszny both spoke highly of the versatile Thomas, as well.