New York Jets release Bryan Thomas

In a surprising move, the New York Jets have released 33-year-old outside linebacker Bryan Thomas, per Manish Mehta. Thomas was listed as doubtful on the Jets injury report leading up to tomorrow’s rivalry game against the Miami Dolphins, and he has been dealing with hamstring issues this year.

Thomas signed a one-year deal worth $900,000 this offseason to stay with the Jets, and this is turn of events for the Jets and Thomas. Previously the longest tenured player on the New York Jets, that honor now goes to star guard Brandon Moore.

Last season, Thomas was only able to play in four games and did not record a sack. Although he is an underwhelming player overall due to his poor pass rushing output on the outside, Thomas still had some value to the Jets. At least they thought he had value to them, because the Jets were willing to pay him a bit under $1 million to keep him for this season.

While it is surprising to see that the Jets released Thomas, he isn’t exactly a productive player. However, this now puts more pressure on Aaron Maybin, who will be playing in a bigger role for the Jets. He is probably more productive than Thomas at this stage, but that was in more of a situational role. We’ll see how Maybin fares out when required to take more snaps for the Jets as a likely starter. With the money the Jets had invested in Thomas, they have to feel that injuries and age have made him so unproductive that it isn’t even worth keeping his contract for the remainder of the year.

Cornerback Donnie Fletcher was signed off of the Jets practice squad to take the place of Thomas. Fletcher is a UDFA out of Boston College who will be used on special teams.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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