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Former New York Giants WR Devin Thomas Agrees to One-Year Deal with Chicago Bears

March 29th, 2012 at 6:17 AM
By Dan Benton

The price of winning the Super Bowl in the NFL is that many coaches and players will be lost and pilfered the following season. That unfortunate reality continued to plague the New York Giants on Wednesday as running back Brandon Jacobs signed with the San Francisco 49ers and wide receiver Devin Thomas agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

"Much love to the New York Giants and my teammates for a magical year! But I will sign tomorrow with… Da Bears!" Thomas tweeted Wednesday night.

Thomas never really had the impact at wide receiver that many had hoped he would, but he was an important special teams asset and his contributions to the team are not ones that should be overlooked. In fact, it was Thomas' recovery of a Kyle William fumble that setup a game-winning field goal in the NFC Championship game, propelling Big Blue to Super Bowl XLVI.

In 20 career regular season games with the Giants, Thomas collected eight tackles (seven solo) and forced two fumbles. He also caught three passes for 37 yards and two first downs.

Financial details of Thomas' contract with the Bears were not immediately known.

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Tags: Chicago, Chicago Bears, Devin Thomas, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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24 Responses to “Former New York Giants WR Devin Thomas Agrees to One-Year Deal with Chicago Bears”

  1.  Krow says:

    I have complete confidence in our front office. Two Superbowls … can’t complain.

    But I am totally baffled by this one.

    If it’s at-or-near the minimum then it’s really hard to make any sense out of it. Unless there are reasons other than money. Thomas was a ST beast for us last year. I just don’t get it.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I’m with you on this one. I have to believe it was the money. Unless it’s a better chance at WR. He might believe he’s better than Hester, Bennet and Weems? I’m not sure what went on but this is our first “unexpected” loss.

      •  Emperor Norton says:

        Didn’t Chicago lose their pro-bowl special teams gunner in free agency? Thomas’ value to us was mostly on special teams in coverage, not as a returner… I don’t think he’ll push Hester for return duties, but Chicago just got themselves a hell of a coverage guy.

        If he signed for veteran minimum or something close to it, I’m going to be a little upset with Reese… this guy was a bargain, and I don’t think we’re going to be able to replace him with a late-round rookie receiver.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          Yeah they did. Look I’m not saying Chicago doesn’t make sense because he certainly has a role. I just wonder if that’s his pick if everything is equal.

  2.  f0xlin says:

    Probably a combination of both. With only $2.5mio in cap space and the likelihood we bring back Goff or Blackburn, leaves little wiggle room to sign others. Still need to pay the rookies as well.

  3.  JimStoll says:

    I don’t think this is too huge a loss
    the young linebackers are what really improved the coverage team last year
    remember, it was williams who caused the decisive fumble against SF
    They’ll find another gunner
    the return game continues to be a disaster with or without thomas
    no obvious solution here
    Eh, Willie Ponder, where are you!!

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    I’m getting the distinct feeling that Reese really didn’t want any of the players he allowed to go investigate free agency. And some of those players clearly wanted more than they were going to get with the Giants, both in regards to money and opportunity. When you have a very good, young, team and are up against the cap, there are going to be some necessary losses among the veterans and Reese is shrewd enough to understand that you have to save your powder for the players you really desire to keep.

    In Thomas’ case I suspect Reese knew he was going to draft a WR, that he wants Jernigan to become the slot receiver they drafted him to be, and that he still thinks Barden can make use of his length to become successful. He also signed Hixon, a guy every coach on the Giants loves. So while I really like Thomas and wish he were still on the roster, I suspect Reese knew he was baggage they didn’t need and Thomas knew he would never be more than a special teams player for the Giants. That’s a bad match. It makes sense for them to separate.

    Thomas will be replaced as a gunner by someone. Obviously, they like Hixon as a returner more, and should, based upon track records. And it now looks like he wasn’t at all necessary as a depth WR (I think he may prove good, but I cannot blame Reese for having confidence in his own draft picks and expecting them to be better).

    Manningham saw an opportunity to be a more important player on a good team, and get enough money on a short contract to allow him to showcase his talent and set himself up for a potentially big contract in two years. I figured the 2-year part, because that made sense. I hoped he’d do it on the Giants, but no one should blame him for the choice he made.

    Jacobs was allowed to go (perhaps a year early, but better then than a year late), and I think that was in part a function of his pride and in part a function of the team’s assessment of Scott and Brown plus a plan to get a running back whom they have identified and probably feel confident they can draft (perhaps a small college guy?).

    The three still out there are the three I am most interested in: Bernard, Goff and Blackburn.

    I suspect they will not sign Bernard because he’ll want too much money to justify playing in the trenches again and the cap restrictions will make that nearly impossible to get done. Too bad. I REALLY want him back as the #4 DT. Instead, it will probably be Hendricks competing with someone they can sign at a veteran minimum or someone they bring in off the street who has some experience.

    Goff may also want too much money to play here. He will have other options, including some outside of football. But for the Giants, having three options beside him as their MIKE (Herzlich the favorite, Jones an alternate, and Boley if the youngsters cannot handle it OR if Fewell wants Williams and Boley to both be three-down linebackers, an outcome that would not at all shock me) makes Jon Goff entirely expendable. He has zero bargaining power with Reese. He’ll probably sign elsewhere.

    I would sign Blackburn just in case some GM gets smart and recognizes what a great asset he is to any team. He’ll play for the veteran minimum and give us twice the value. Reese takes a real risk in hoping he’ll still be on his couch if the Giants need him mid-season.

    In the end, I suspect Reese is husbanding money in an effort to either sign a free agent they have targeted but are waiting out until closer to the draft, or at least in part to enrich Osi’s deal as part of an effort to sign him to an extension or extend Kiwi sooner rather than later. He absolutely MUST keep one of the two on this team. Two would be far better, but one is a necessity.

    •  kujo says:

      Great write up.

      I’d add Tollefson to the list of guys we would really like to have back, but probably won’t get because of a combination of Super Bowl-induced overratedness (NO ONE ON G101 IS A BIGGER FAN OF TOLLEFSON THAN ME….I FOUNDED THE TOLLEY TROLLEY!) and shrewd thinking on Reese’s part. Our 3 man rotation at DE will be Tuck, JPP and Osi. I think they’ll draft a DE fairly high–my bet is in the 2nd round–who will be the #4 guy that they’re grooming to step up once the Osi situation plays itself out in the next couple of years. Our scheme simply cannot survive without 4 hungry DEs to rotate in and out, and I’ll bet Reese figures that he’d rather play the long game by bringing in another guy to groom behind our top 3 than spend the couple of million dollars it would take to bring back Tollefson.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Totally agree. I’ve been saying that I think our three biggest position priorities in the draft will be a pass-rusher who can play DE, a wide receiver, and a safety. I think drafting the first two of those early is almost a sure thing. Of course, you never know with Reese/Ross, but based on their seemingly brilliant planning those are assets that they need to gather for the long run to support their two greatest strengths: Eli Manning and the pass rush. Great teams keep building on their strengths, especially when those strengths are what win in today’s NFL.

        •  kujo says:

          I’ve been slammed with work lately, so I haven’t really dug in to any draft stuff yet. But I’d wager that the top 3 picks will very likely be a pass rusher and a wide receiver that is viewed as “raw” as in having the physical skill set but needs work on technique or experience. I dunno much about the safety situation this draft, but if there’s one who matches that description as well, you can bet we’ll snag one of those too. I don’t see us looking at interior linemen, running backs, tight ends or linebackers until the mid rounds, at the earliest. If there’s a good OT prospect out there, I expect Reese will consider him, but I’d bet he’s thinking that either Diehl or Brewer will nab the RT spot easily this year.

          I’m excited about the draft. I’ve been saying it for awhile now–I will be happy no matter who they draft. That’s a testament to Reese’s masterful offseason so far.

  5.  JimStoll says:

    Fun fact for the day:

    Team Super Bowl Wins Super Bowl Losses Super Bowl Record
    Pittsburgh Steelers IX, X, XIII, XIV, XL, XLIII XXX, XLV 6-2
    San Francisco 49ers XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV, XXIX 5-0
    Dallas Cowboys VI, XII, XXVII, XXVIII, XXX V, X, XIII 5-3
    Green Bay Packers I, II, XXXI, XLV XXXII 4-1
    New York Giants XXI, XXV, XLII, XLVI XXXV 4-1
    Oakland/LA Raiders XI, XV, XVIII II, XXXVII 3-2
    Washington Redskins XVII, XXII, XXVI VII, XVIII 3-2
    New England XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XX, XXXI, XLII, XLVI 3-4
    Balt./Indianapolis Colts V, XLI III, XLIV 2-2
    Miami Dolphins VII, VIII VI, XVII, XIX, 2-3
    Denver Broncos XXXII, XXXIII XII, XXI, XXII, XXIV 2-4
    Baltimore Ravens XXXV 1-0
    New York Jets III 1-0
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers XXXVII 1-0
    New Orleans Saints XLIV 1-0
    Chicago Bears XX XLI 1-1
    Kansas City Chiefs IV, I 1-1
    St. Louis/LA Rams XXXIV XIV, XXXVI 1-2

    Minnesota Vikings IV, VIII, IX, XI 0-4
    Buffalo Bills XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII 0-4
    Philadelphia Eagles XV, XXXIX 0-2
    Cincinnati Bengals XVI, XXIII 0-2
    Tennessee Titans XXXIV 0-1
    Seattle Seahawks XL 0-1
    San Diego Chargers XXIX 0-1
    Carolina Panthers XXXVIII 0-1
    Atlanta Falcons XXXIII 0-1
    Arizona Cardinals XLIII 0-1

    •  demo3356 says:

      Houston, Detroit, Cleveland and Jax 0-0
      I wonder what those fans forums are like? We have won More Superbowls than any body the last 25 years yet half our fan base is ready to jump off a ledge after 2-3 bad weeks every year.. I wonder what the Stolls and Krows of Lions or Browns 101 are like?

  6.  GOAT56 says:

    F55 – I agree what you stated appears to be JR’s plan. What It means to me is WR is definitely our greatest need. I understand the concern about a pass rusher. But I think it’s more important to have WR in our system a year before we expect production. We still could draft an early round pass rusher next year.

    I also wouldn’t discount drafting a LB early if letting both Goff and Blackburn walk is really the plan.

  7.  demo3356 says:

    So, Hixon, T. Thomas, Carr and Bennett have been re signed/ added
    Jacobs, Manningham, Ross and D. Thomas have been lost
    Goff, Blackburn, Grant, Bernard, Clayton, Mckenzie, Andrews, Toelfson, Kennedy, Blackmon and Martin are still UFA
    With 9 Picks in the draft along with the likelihood of JR grabbing some UDFA and doing some bargain basement shopping in FA, this could be an entirely different looking team next year

    •  JimStoll says:

      dude
      u r back!

      9 picks in the draft?
      I thought we had 8
      where’d we pick up the ninth?

      •  demo3356 says:

        your right, 8 my bad..I’m on vacation this week from work and all 3 of my baseball teams are on Spring Break So I’ve been popping in. I’m ready to continue our debate on the mediocrity that is the Great Tom Coughlin anytime you are:-)

        •  JimStoll says:

          I’m pretty sure I owe you (or vice versa) a trip to the woodshed

          but let it be said here and now: the giants are the most successful mediocre team in the history of the NFL!!

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Yup.

      Manningham = big, but understandable, loss

      Bennett = potentially big gain

      Ross = gone once Thomas signed

      Hixon and Thomas = big gain if they’re healthy, which looks to be the case

      Carr = along with Weatherford, the kinds of signings that no one pays much attention to outside New York but wins championships

      Jacobs and D.Thomas = sad losses for fans, probably correct decisions for the team

      I’m still hoping Grant and Blackburn are available if needed, which may prove the case. I suspect none of the others will be back, and in all likelihood at least one of those two is gone for good as well.

      I thought we have 8 picks. Where did the 9th come from?

    •  Luv2Salsa says:

      I believe Pascoe is still a UFA. Though he doesn’t excite anyone around here, the fact that he can back-up the fullback spot makes him more valuable than is below average TE play would indicate.

      If he goes unsigned, that means Hopkins takes over and/or they draft someone.

  8.  f0xlin says:

    Wow, shows you how lucky we are to be New York Football Giant Fans!

    With free agency slowing down a bit, who do you guys think will be this years Jonas Seawright?

    Practice Squad (or were for a good part of last year)
    Brandon Bing CB
    Selvish Capers T
    Jim Cordle C
    Dan Depalma WR
    Larry Donnell TE
    Dwayne Hendrinks DT
    Christian Hopkins TE
    Chris Horton DB
    Craig Marshall DE
    Ryan Perrilloux QB
    Ryan Purvis TE
    Joel Reinders T
    Isaiah Stanback WR
    Chris White G

    I think this years practice squad player to emerge will be Dan Depalma. Last month JR was quoted as saying they like to look within the orgainization before they look to sign any outside free agents. He didn’t name any names but Webster has been quoted saying DePalma was by far the toughest PS WR to cover.

    I’ll put my money on DePalma being this years Jonas Seawright (but hopefully Depalma succeeds)

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