Adalius Thomas, finally released on Monday by the Patriots after months of speculation, is a Rex Ryan guy. They spent six seasons together in Baltimore (2001-06), where Thomas went from being an unheralded sixth-round draft pick into a two-time Pro Bowl selection. His best year was 2006 -- a contract year, perhaps not coincidentally -- when he recorded a career-high 11 sacks.
The questions is, do the Jets have room for him after signing pass-rusher Jason Taylor? Right now, they have three veteran outside linebackers -- Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas and Taylor. The fourth 'backer, Vernon Gholston, is no longer a 'backer, having been moved to the defensive line. The Jets didn't confirm the Gholston switch until Saturday, claiming it was contingent on the Taylor signing, but I suspect he could've ended up there anyway, even if Taylor didn't come.
That leads you to believe the Jets will have some interest in Thomas. The thing about him is, he knows Ryan's scheme very well and he can play almost anywhere. He can play inside 'backer, defensive end, and even slide to defensive tackle in certain packages. Now, he's 32 years old -- not the player he used to be -- but you have to think his versatility is intriguing to the Jets.
Notice the Jets didn't draft an outside linebacker, passing on TCU's Jerry Hughes with the 29th overall pick. Obviously, Taylor's arrival reduced the need, but maybe -- just maybe -- Ryan was thinking ahead to a possible reunion with Thomas.
Bart Scott, another ex-Raven, did some chirping about Thomas and the Jets during a March radio interview with ESPN's "Mike and Mike."
"It's funny," Scott said. "I was hanging with Adalius Thomas for Super Bowl weekend. We're buddies from back in the day. He made it public that he's expressed an interest in joining Rex. I think some of his better years of his career have been [as] a part of the Ravens' defense and under Rex Ryan's tutelage. It'll be exciting."
Thomas later told the Boston Herald that he never made those comments to Scott. We'll see.