For more information on these topics -- and the Pats' options -- check out Football Outsiders' take on the AFC East this offseason and Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. on AFC team needs.
Outside linebacker Adalius Thomas has had an up-and-down career as a member of the New England Patriots. Following an All-Pro season with the Baltimore Ravens in 2006, the Patriots signed Thomas to a five-year, $35 million contract -- including $20 million in guaranteed money. Since that time, the Patriots have shifted Thomas back and forth between inside linebacker and outside linebacker, depending on team need.
His productivity has also shifted in this time.
Thomas had a roller-coaster 2009; he was named a team captain at the start of the year and was benched midseason. Last week, he voiced his frustrations to a Boston sports talk show. In his comments, Thomas talked about how his role changed from 2008, when he broke his arm in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills, to the end of the 2009 season:
- "I was used totally differently this year than I was last year before I broke my arm. Even before I came back, I was told that I was going to be used differently."
So, was he? Pro Football Focus is a website that charts every play in the NFL season; their data paints a pretty clear picture regarding the Patriots' usage of Thomas and his abilities this past season.