Veteran linebacker Adalius Thomas senses that he’s on the outs in New England. But with a widespread belief entering the offseason that the Patriots would terminate a contract signed three years ago, the Pats have yet to release him.
It could be that the Patriots, who owe the player nothing until the start of the 2010 regular season, are waiting for someone to make a trade offer. A cynic may wonder whether the Patriots have simply opted to teach Thomas a lesson by squatting on his contract and keeping him from hitting the market in the uncapped year.
A cynic also may believe that Thomas’ decision to talk about his circumstances is aimed at getting the Pats to pull the plug.
In an interview with Shalize Manza Young of the Boston Globe, Thomas talked about his circumstances. For the first time, he complained about the care that the team provided in the wake of a broken arm that ended his 2008 season prematurely. Specifically, he says that the team sent him to a massage therapist, not a physical therapist.
“I think that sent a hidden message to me because I don’t think certain
people would get that same treatment,” Thomas said, possibly while coughing twice and muttering “Tom Brady” in between. “I don’t think you’d send somebody
to rehab their shoulder with a massage therapist, or a knee to a massage
therapist. . . . [T]he person responsible for my physical
therapy was a massage therapist?”
[Editor's note: Sean Connery will take "massage the rapist" for $200.]
Thomas also sounded off on being told last year that his role would be changing because he’s “not a good pass rusher,” and he expressed disagreement with a decision to bench him in Week Six against the Titans based on the perception that he played poorly during a Week Five loss in Denver.
“The thing for me is, I got a game ball Atlanta week [in Week Three],” Thomas said. “So,
that’s what was so mind-boggling. You get a game ball two weeks before,
you have a bad game against Denver, and then you get benched the next
game. That’s really that’s interesting, for a lack of words. Because I
know a lot of people that had more than one bad game. It was shocking.
That was like a turn.”
Based on prior comments from Thomas, it seems like he knew that things had changed after Week One, when he emerged confused from a meeting with coach Bill Belichick.
Regardless, it’s a bad situation, and it’s hard to believe that Thomas ever will suit up for the Patriots again.
Thomas is due to earn base salaries of $4.9 million and $5.9 million in the final two years of his contract.
He plans to report for a mandatory minicamp; it’s quite possible that the team will trade or cut him before then, since a season-ending injury would entitle him to the full $4.9 million.