Bryan Thomas rejoins Jets
"Pissed. Pissed. Ain't no other (way to describe it). Pissed. Mad. That's all I can say about it," Thomas said.
The team re-signed Thomas on Monday, two days after releasing him to make room on the roster for another player.
The team told Thomas that they'd bring him back, but that didn't make the decision to cut him any easier for Thomas to stomach.
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"That was the plan, but who knows," he said. "You never know how this business works. You see transactions and different things every day. They did tell me that I would be back, but I didn't know."
Thomas, the longest-tenured Jet, added that he's "happy to be back" and doesn't have any ill will for the organization. He was the Jets' first-round pick of the 2002 draft (22nd overall) and was a vested veteran whose $900,000 salary was guaranteed after he made the opening-day roster, so Thomas didn't lose any money when he was released.
"I can't hold any animosity. Like I said, it's a business. My main focus is getting back on the field and helping this team," Thomas said. "At first, was I angry? Yeah. Because this is a job. This is what I love, this is what I've done all my life."
Thomas found out on Saturday that the Jets had decided to cut him. The 33-year-old was told it was for "the better of the team."
The move was made because the Jets expected to be down to four cornerbacks for the Miami game with Ellis Lankster hurt. They wanted to sign DB Donnie Fletcher from the practice squad to give them an extra option. Thomas was hobbled by a hamstring injury and wasn't going to play.
Lankster, though, ended up playing and Fletcher was inactive.
Thomas watched the game from home and was back in the locker room Monday, greeting some of his teammates. He said it would have been difficult to join another team after spending his whole career with the Jets.
"I've been a Jet for 11 years. I wouldn't want to play for anybody else, no other organization. I love this organization. I've been here since I was a 21-year-old kid," said Thomas, who plans to be healthy enough to play Sunday against San Francisco. "This is where I always wanted to be and this is where I want to stay. I want to retire as a Jet ... that's my focus."
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
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