Following two disappointing seasons for the Jaguars 2015 free agent signing Julius Thomas, it was widely speculated that the Jaguars might part ways with the former touchdown machine.
It appears, for now, that that line of thinking may have been wrong.
On this day, February 10th, $3 million of Thomas' 2017 salary became guaranteed. Had the Jaguars been on the verge of parting ways with Julius then they most likely would have done so prior to today, which would have saved the team $3 million.
So it seems that Julius Thomas may be in the Jaguars plans moving forward. Despite Thomas' obvious limitations as a player he still provides value as a move tight end that can stretch the field running seam routes.
During Thomas' two hugely disappointing seasons in Jacksonville he was still able to haul in a total of 76 catches and 9 TDs. He did so despite missing 13 out of the 32 games played during that time span. Certainly injuries are a concern for Thomas as he hasn't played a full season since entering the league in 2011. But in the history of the Jaguars organization Thomas' 9 receiving TDs for the team are surpassed by only Marcedes Lewis and Kyle Brady. This is probably more of an inditement on the history of the Jaguars tight end position than anything, but the point is Thomas clearly provides something that this team doesn't have with out him.
Thomas does only one thing well and that is stretch the field which creates unfavorable matchups for defenses. The former regime clearly miscast Thomas and tried to get him to do things on the football field that he just wasn't comfortable with i.e. blocking. The Jaguars would be wise to keep their move tight end and see what they can get out of him in 2017. If Nathaniel Hackett can figure out how to properly utilize the 28 year old tight end and he can manage to stay healthy for a full season or even 3/4 of a season, then Thomas could put up some big numbers once again.
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