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Giants Roster Preview: Where Does J.T. Thomas Fit?

Or, does he fit into the Giants’ plans at all?

NFL: New York Giants-Minicamp
J.T. Thomas during mini-camp in June.
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

When the offseason began, fans expected the New York Giants to quickly cut ties with J.T. Thomas III, saving themselves $3 million against the salary cap. The veteran linebacker is, however, still a Giant.

What gives? Well, let’s try to answer that by taking a closer look at Thomas as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

2016 Season In Review

Thomas had his season come to a cruel end in the season opener, blowing out his knee on a special teams play. He ended up on injured reserve and needed surgery from which he has yet to make a full recovery.

2017 Season Outlook

What will the Giants do with Thomas this season? Well, that’s a good question. Thomas finds himself in the unenviable purgatory of a rehabbing NFL player — he is part of the Giants’ team, while, at the same time, he really isn’t.

Throughout the spring, Thomas was on the field when the Giants practiced. He never joined his teammates, though. He worked a little with trainers on the side, mostly just jogging lightly. Then, of course, there were those visits to the stationary bikes players who aren’t practicing always gravitate to.

All the while, it is entirely possible that Thomas is simply working toward getting himself healthy enough that the Giants can cut him. Right now, he hasn’t passed a physical. If the Giants cut him before he does, they will have to pay him an injury settlement. If he passes a physical and then gets cut, no injury settlement would be necessary.

Then again, Thomas might get healthy and find himself with a spot as a reserve linebacker. The 6-foot-1, 236-pound five-year veteran can play inside and outside linebacker, and the Giants are short on experienced depth at the position.

The first step, of course, will be for Thomas to get healthy enough to pass a physical and be allowed to practice. What happens after that? We will just have to wait and see.