The Ravens have waived Thomas, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic reports. Thomas, who opted out of the 2020 season, will now be free to catch on elsewhere in advance of the 2021 campaign. In the last couple of years in which he played, the 28-year-old receiver made most of his impact as a returner.
The Ravens placed Thomas on the reserve list Monday after he voluntarily opted out of the 2020 season. According to Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Sun, Thomas will receive a $150,000 salary advance while his contract tolls over to 2021, so he'll remain under club control despite opting out of the upcoming season. The 27-year-old had been slated to compete for a depth role in the Ravens' receiving corps, but he likely would have made his biggest impact on special teams as a kick and punt returner. Now that Thomas is stepping away for the upcoming season, rookie sixth-round pick James Proche profiles as the Ravens' top candidate for return duties.
Thomas will face competition from rookie sixth-round pick James Proche in the return game, SI.com's Todd Karpovich reports. Thomas was released by the Chiefs last October and caught on with the Ravens a few weeks later. He averaged 16.6 yards on 10 kick returns and 7.2 yards on 13 punt returns in eight games with Baltimore, playing 123 snaps on special teams but only three on offense. The Ravens likely hope Proche can seize the return job this season.
Thomas signed a one-year contract with the Ravens on Saturday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Thomas was hardly effective in his first stint with the Ravens, combining for just 259 return yards in eight games, but a lack of obvious difference makers from a special teams perspective on the open market likely helped spur the reunion. It's entirely possible Thomas could still be on the roster bubble this preseason if other skillful returners outperform the 27-year-old.
Thomas, who signed with Baltimore on Nov. 5, played almost exclusively on special teams with his new club. He had no targets on three offensive snaps but racked up 166 kick return yards and 93 punt return yards over eight games. Thomas was signed to bring a spark to the Ravens anemic return game but failed to provide one for the most part. His longest kick return went just 31 yards and his longest punt return went just 20. The 27-year-old is due to hit free agency in March, and his lack of production as a returner makes him unlikely to remain in Baltimore come kickoff for the 2020 season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|3 Year Avg||2||1||12||0||1||12.00||1|