While the New York Giants are busy addressing holes in their roster in the 2020 NFL Draft and trying to improve their on-field product, their locker room just took a massive hit.
Special teams ace Michael Thomas, who has played the past two seasons, including a 2018 Pro Bowl bid, has taken his talents to Houston, signing with the Texans, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Signing with the Texans is a return to Thomas’ roots, as the soon-to-be eight-year pro is a Houston native.
Thomas Was Beloved in The Giants Locker Room
Thomas is one of the best character guys in all of football. The 30-year-old safety and ex-Giants captain was beloved in New York’s locker room, and the NFL as a whole.
Thomas, who was recently in the running to be the next NFLPA president, was voted by his teammates as the recipient of the 2019 Ed Block Courage Award.
The Award, which is named after Ed Block, a former head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts from 1954 to 1977, is awarded to 32 players per year, one player per NFL team. The award is used to “exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.”
Upon Thomas’ anointment as Giants’ award recipient, The Ed Block Foundation took to Twitter to detail all the good that Thomas has done in the community over the past year.
He is a locker room leader on social justice issues and involved in multiple community service activities. This includes @campmiket which focuses on leadership, athletics, and academics in Houston, TX. Mike is also closely involved in the Dreambuilders Foundation. A non-profit organization, the Michael Thomas Dreambuilders Foundation works to provide for disadvantaged children. Mike’s teammates have selected him for this prestigious award for the invaluable contributions he has made on the field and more importantly off the field.
Giants’ Offseason Softens Blow of Losing Thomas
The writing was on the wall in New York that Thomas’s time with the organization was likely done upon new head coach Joe Judge’s arrival.
One would have thought that Judge, who made a name for himself as a special teams coach in New England, would have valued the presence of a Pro Bowl-caliber special teams ace such as Thomas.
However, Judge opted to surround himself with familiar faces. The Giants signed Nate Ebner in free agency. Ebner has played his entire NFL career under the watchful eye of Judge, as they both arrived in New England in 2012.
New York is also aiming to get younger on special teams. They re-signed 26-year-old Cody Core this offseason. Core led the team in special teams tackles in 2019.
The loss of Thomas also leaves a bit of a hole in the secondary. Thomas regularly operated as the team’s third safety, playing in sub-packages.
The team appears set at both starting safety spots with Jabrill Peppers and Julian Love. The latter’s experience as a slot corner leaves the door open for New York to address the safety position with a notable draft pick.
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