The Jets have announced the release of linebacker Bryan Thomas, the longest-tenured player on the roster. They have signed CB Donnie Fletcher from the practice squad to take his place on the roster, according to a team press release.
Thomas, drafted as a defensive in the first round of the 2002 draft, later switched to outside linebacker in 2006. In his ten-year career with the Jets, he played 94-of-146 games.
The 33-year old linebacker has been dealing injuries for the past two seasons — he missed the majority of 2011 after tearing his Achilles tendon and has been battling a hamstring injury suffered in the season opener for the past few weeks. On Friday, the team declared him doubtful for the Miami game.
While Thomas is a valuable member of the team and one of the few veteran leaders, the move was a necessary one for the Jets, who were forced to shuffle the roster after losing cornerback Ellis Lankster, among others, to injuries. Fletcher is healthy and provides the Jets with the necessary depth at cornerback.
The most interesting part about the move related to Thomas’ $925,000 base salary which became guaranteed week 1– the Jets now have to will have to pay Thomas the remaining $707,000 left on the deal, even if he were to find a new team. But, according to the New York Daily News, who cites a source, Thomas could re-sign with the team as early as Monday, after the return from Miami.
Speaking of veterans, the incident involving veteran linebacker Bart Scott and Jets Confidential blogger Dan Leberfeld has garnered a lot of attention in the past 48 hours. I wrote a brief update with all the details on the “altercation” this morning on Nj.com. Check it out and if you have time, listen to Jane McManus’ spot on the Michael Kay Show, where she offers her first-hand perspective on the situation.