Monday, the New England Patriots released outside linebacker Adalius Thomas. The Jacksonville Jaguars also released defensive tackle John Henderson.
Both of these players will receive a lot of interest throughout the league. Both play positions the Green Bay Packers may have need for, and to see whether they should be sought by the team, check out my companion article on Packer Chatters.
The 32-year-old Thomas was the prize free agent in 2007 when the Patriots signed him. He was coming off a career-high 11 sacks and one off his career high of 83 tackles. He had a great season in 2007, but has fallen off enough since for the Pats to decide not to invite him back.
At 6'7" and 335 lbs., Henderson anchors the middle of the defense and has enough quickness to play some at defensive end. At 31-years-old, he has enough left in the tank to help his new team, and a player with his physical gifts does not come along often.
Expect Henderson to be in high demand and command a large salary. Thomas, though only a year older and at a less-physical position, has shown more signs of aging and might be had for a relatively low salary among starting outside linebackers, even with no salary cap this season.
Neither will get much in the way of long-term or guaranteed money, as teams look to protect themselves against an unknown cap situation for 2011.