Donald Thomas is one of the less-heralded impending free agents for the New England Patriots this offseason, but Thomas should receive some solid offers on the market. Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets fans are two fan bases already intrigued at the prospect of their respective teams signing Thomas to be one of their starting guards next season- and for good reason. Last season, Thomas proved his worth as a future starter in this league as an excellent utility backup for the Pats.
That likely interest from teams across the league will make it difficult for the New England Patriots to keep Donald Thomas. Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe tweeted yesterday that it is “full expected” that Thomas will test the free agent waters this offseason, even though the Patriots have showed interest in re-signing Thomas.
I honestly think that Dan Connolly, not Donald Thomas, should be the Pats starter next season. I am not the only one saying this, as fellow Musket Fire writer Christopher Field and Richard Hill of Pats Pulpit have stated that Thomas is worth starting over Connolly. Thomas actually outplayed Connolly significantly last season, and Connolly’s ability to play at center would also make a swap in roles a good decision. That way, the Pats won’t have to give so many snaps to Ryan Wendell and can afford to give him a rest easier. Not to mention, Thomas would actually provide an upgrade over Connolly at right guard.
That’s not to say Connolly is bad, but he’s just an average guard whilst Thomas is a solid starter. I fear that Thomas will sign elsewhere this offseason, because a team will pay him a nice chunk of coin in order to bring him in as a guaranteed starter. The Patriots will do what they can to keep the valuable guard, but it might not be enough.
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