|Pace injury could pave way for Thomas to sign with Jets||08.29.10 at 3:21 pm ET|
An injury to Jets linebacker Calvin Pace could clear the way for a reunion of Rex Ryan and Adalius Thomas and add even more spice to the Patriots-Jets rivalry.
Pace, who broke his foot in the third quarter of Friday’s game against the Redskins, will reportedly be out a few weeks with the injury. That could leave New York in the market for a free agent linebacker like Thomas, who played for Ryan in Baltimore when he was the defensive coordinator with the Ravens.
While Ryan indicated on Sunday that he had no immediate plans to bring him in for a physical or sign him, he certainly sounded open to the idea.
“I would say it would be a possibility,” Ryan told reporters on Sunday when he was asked about the Jets signing Thomas. “I’m not going to rule that out.”
“If we’re going to do it, we’d rather do it sooner than later,” Ryan added. “But there are still some other things involved, other factors involved, and things like that. Sometimes what really makes sense, might not make sense to the organization, so we’ll see.”
Thomas played for the Patriots the last three seasons, but his time in New England came to a bitter end in April when he was released by the team. It marked the end one of the most eventful three-year careers with the Patriots — Thomas went from moments of brilliance in 2007 where he was New England’s best defensive player over stretches throughout the year to being a healthy scratch last season.
Things reached a nadir between the two sides last December when Thomas was one of four players late for an 8 a.m. meeting. While other players involved expressed contrition, Thomas made light of the incident in a bizarre press conference, saying after he was sent home, he “put [his] toes up in the air” and relaxed.
He added: “That’s one thing about Mother Nature. You can’t control that. You can’t run people over getting to work. … I didn’t try to be late. That’s basically it. I don’t know anything else to say. Cars sitting in the road, you’re sitting there. What can you do? It’s not the Jetsons. I can’t jump up into the sky. What the hell am I supposed to do?”
Asked if the incident could serve as motivation, Thomas scoffed: “Motivation is for kindergarteners. I’m not a kindergartener. Sending somebody home, that’s like ‘Are you expelled? Come back and make good grades.’ Get that [expletive] out of here. That’s ridiculous.”
In all, the 33-year-old has played in 135 NFL games and has accumulated 584 tackles, seven interceptions, 17 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and 79 special teams tackles.
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