The Jacksonville Jaguars traded wide receiver Mike Thomas to the Detroit Lions on Tuesday afternoon, sending him to the Motor City for an undisclosed draft pick. According to a report by CBS' Jason La Canfora, the Lions will be sending the Jaguars a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft as compensation for Thomas.
While it would be nice to get an extra 2013 draft pick for Thomas, the fact of the matter is it doesn't really matter what the Jaguars got for Mike Thomas. They got something, and something is better than what they were getting on the field.
Thomas signed a five-year, $19 million contract with $9 million guaranteed during the 2011 season. After he signed the deal, Thomas' production seemingly fell off a cliff while he did his best disappearing act. Thomas continued that in training camp and through the first seven games of the 2012 NFL season, even losing his punt returning duties to a street free agent.
It was mentioned that the Lions were very interesting in Mike Thomas, and likely would have drafted him had he made it to their pick during the 2009 NFL Draft, but were forced to settle with Derrick Williams who's no longer in the NFL. It was reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network that as many as four teams had interest in trading for Mike Thomas, which has put some concern in Jaguars fans that he could finally be consistent and productive on the Lions.
He could be, but so what? He wasn't going to do that in Jacksonville, so who cares what he does now?
The Jaguars got a draft pick for a player who wasn't giving them much on the football field and was fading closer and closer to the bench on a full time basis. It's likely Thomas would have been released in the offseason anyway, so you get a draft pick for someone who wasn't really giving you anything.
"I'm excited," Thomas told the Free Press onTuesday after the deal was completed. "Anytime a team is interested in you and wants to utilize you or just use you, I think that's a no brainer. That's what you want as a player in the NFL, you just want to play and be utilized."
Thomas clearly wasn't happy in Jacksonville and wasn't a great guy in the locker room by some accounts, often complaining about not getting the football despite being the third most targeted receiver on the team. It didn't help the Jaguars to keep Thomas around, so better they shipped him off for something in return.