Colts agree with Patriots G Thomas

Guard Donald Thomas, a top reserve for the Patriots who provided valuable insurance on both sides of the line, agreed to terms with the Colts on the first day of free agency, the Colts announced.

Thomas played 48 percent of the Patriots' offensive snaps in 2012, filling in for injured starters Logan Mankins (left) and Dan Connolly (right). He appeared in all 16 regular-season games, with seven starts.

The former UConn standout, who entered the league as a sixth-round draft choice of the Dolphins in 2008, joined the Patriots in 2011. With the 6-foot-4, 305-pound Thomas proving he was a capable starter this season, it was going to be a challenge for the Patriots to retain him.

The Patriots have center/guard Nick McDonald currently as their top reserve and figure to address the need for lower-cost depth in the draft and possibly free agency.