Jaguars WR Shorts' emergence helped make Thomas expendable

Posted Nov. 01, 2012 @ 12:06 p.m.
Posted By Arthur Arkush

The good news for the Jaguars and GM Gene Smith is that they managed to get something (a mid-round draft pick) from the Lions in exchange from a player they were likely to cut loose after the season (WR Mike Thomas).

The bad news, of course, is that they were likely to cut loose a player, who, a little more than a year ago, signed a five-year, $19 million contract with $9 million guaranteed.

The cause of Thomas’ fall from grace in Jacksonville is difficult to pinpoint, we hear, as he was given a fresh start under a new regime after his effort was at times questionable a season ago.

The reason he was viewed as expendable is not puzzling, however, as the Jaguars are higher on second-year speedster Cecil Shorts and 2012 first-rounder Justin Blackmon.

Shorts, who has turned into the team's leading receiver and sent high-priced free agent Laurent Robinson to the bench, continues to be the one real difference maker among the WR corps.

Blackmon’s progress has been slower than the Jaguars had hoped, but we hear that is not unusual for rookie receivers — just look at Shorts, who excelled in practice but looked lost during games as a rookie.

The trade of Thomas completes Smith’s overhaul of 2011 Jaguars wideouts. The hope is that another overhaul of the group won’t soon be needed.