Thomas: Never said I wanted to be a Jet

New England Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas was not in attendance Monday for the start of the team's offseason program at Gillette Stadium, telling the Boston Herald via e-mail he was not even aware it had begun. The workouts are not mandatory.

Some expect the Patriots to release Thomas after a tumultuous season that included him being a healthy scratch for a game against the Tennessee Titans, and being sent home with three others for showing up late for a December morning meeting in snowy, icy conditions.

Thomas, who is under contract to earn $4.9 million in 2010, said last month he is not sure where he will play next season. He told Boston radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub in February that he wants to play "somewhere where I'm wanted and where I'm going to have fun. That's where I want to be."

He stopped short of saying he felt unwanted in New England, but told the radio show: "I definitely didn't have fun. It was definitely a frustrating year as far as that goes."

Thomas was in the news earlier this month after New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott said on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike" show that Thomas would like to play for the Jets if he were released by New England.

"It's funny," Scott said. "I was hanging with Adalius Thomas for Super Bowl weekend. We're buddies from back in the day. He made it public that he's expressed in interest in joining Rex. I think some of his better years of his career have been a part of the Ravens' defense and under Rex Ryan's tutelage. It'll be exciting."

Thomas told the Herald that conversation never happened and that he had never discussed joining the Jets with Scott.

"I've heard of all the chatter up there about me," Thomas wrote the Herald. "It was about something Bart Scott said on TV, [and] that's not what was said . . . I have never told anyone that I wanted to leave and go play for the Jets."

There were at least 40 players in attendance for the first day of the voluntary workouts Monday, a source told NESN.com. Among those missing, NESN reported, were Thomas, quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Randy Moss.

Defensive end Ty Warren also is not at the workouts, choosing instead to remain at home in Texas and finish his college degree.