GM sends a message

Struggling second-year cornerback sent packing

Wow. Joey Thomas was in the locker room this afternoon preparing for the team's practice. Then in a New York minute, he was told by personnel director Reggie McKenzie to pack his belongings, turn in his playbook and scram.

In a league where you're only as good as your last play, Thomas learned the hard way today. Packers general manager Ted Thompson surprisingly gave the second-year cornerback the boot. So much for patience.

Thompson and the Packers coaching staff obviously had enough of Thomas, and it didn't matter if he was the team's third-round pick last year. Thomas messed up a couple of times against Cincinnati. He also gave up a big play near the end of the Minnesota game a week earlier that allowed the Vikings to rally for a victory over Green Bay.

Just like that, he's gone. Why?

Thomas may have lost all confidence in his abilities after he took a knee to the head by running back Reuben Droughns during his one and only start as a Packer in Week 2. Thomas sustained a concussion on the play and missed the following game against Tampa Bay. Ahmad Carroll took over as the starter and is holding the job down like he has been known to hold wide receivers.

Aside from his lack of productivity and his mistakes on the field in recent weeks, Thomas' attitude may have been another reason for his release. He and Ahmad Carroll got into a well-publicized fight last year outside of a team meeting room. It is quite possible that he wasn't responding to directives from the coaching staff. Defensive coordinator Jim Bates read Thomas the riot act after he was penalized for illegal hands to the face, which gave the Bengals new life after failing on a third-down attempt last Sunday.

Thomas spoke to reporters today shortly after he was released, but doesn't seem to be bothered that he is out of a job.

"I was a little hurt by the situation, but I'm not down and out by this," Thomas said.

There likely is more to Thomas' release than the media knows. It is rare that a team gives up on a third-round draft pick so quickly, especially one that was named as a starter heading into training camp.

However, as Thompson shapes his team in this rebuilding year, he will weed out players that the coaches feel will not be contributing on a regular basis in upcoming seasons. Thomas is one of them.


Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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