We’re only a day and-a-half removed from the 2010 NFL Draft, and already I’m speculating on a free agent linebacker for the Panthers to potentially target.
The proverbial gun that was the Panthers’ NFL Draft, is still smoking, and I’m moving ahead to talk about acquiring a free agent linebacker.
In the League since 2000, Thomas was a longtime member of the Baltimore Ravens. Since 2007, he was a member of the New England Patriots. Until today, that is.
Most fans in Panthers Nation have been clamoring about two things pre- and post-draft: little depth at the offensive line, and little experienced depth in the linebacker corps.
So what would you think if the Panthers were to consider signing Thomas to a one- or two-year deal? He is in his later years at the age of 32, but still looks to have a few good ones left in him.
Let’s take a look at his totals during the last three seasons in New England.
Since 2007, Thomas has started in 35 games, and played in 39 out of 48 games.
In three years, he’s totaled 146 tackles, which is an average of 49 a season. He’s also totaled 14.5 sacks, an average of 4.8 a season. And he’s scored a touchdown off an intercepted pass in three years with New England.
Most fans, myself included, would like to see a veteran backup in the event current middle linebacker Jon Beason succumbs to injury (let us hope not). I’m not sure if Thomas could transfer his play to the middle linebacker position, but even if he was unable to, and remained on the outside, he would still be a viable force to be reckoned with in the Panthers linebacking corps.
In New England, Thomas had some behavioral problems, but that’s something that could be overlooked, especially if he’s only signed for a year or two. Besides, anyone who can put Brett Favre on the ground like that, is good by me.
But once again, the one and maybe only thing working against Thomas is his age. It’s almost certain the Panthers will not sign him. But it’s an interesting possibility at a position which many Panthers fans feel, is still in need.