The Green Bay Packers may see another defensive contributor leave in free agency this week. General manager Brian Gutekunst decided not to submit a tender to restricted free agent inside linebacker Joe Thomas last week, allowing Thomas to become an unrestricted free agent.
Thomas, who of course has no relation to the retiring Cleveland Browns offensive tackle, has played in 42 games for the Packers over the past three seasons with eight starts. He saw his most playing time in 2016, starting seven games and recording 68 total tackles and an interception.
Now, Thomas has his first free agent visit lined up, as he is reportedly meeting with the Dallas Cowboys.
This is an interesting landing spot for Thomas, who spent two weeks on the Cowboys’ practice squad in 2015 after the Packers waived him at the final cut following that season’s training camp. However, Green Bay signed him to their active roster prior to week three, and he has been with the Packers ever since.
Largely a rotational linebacker, Thomas has been used often as a sub package linebacker when the Packers were defending passing situations. However, his role in 2017 became more focused on special teams as the team started using safeties Morgan Burnett and Josh Jones in the linebacker role.