Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio has been turning heads around the league with his aggressive moves in free agency, and the latest addition to this rapidly changing Texans roster is former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Joe Thomas.
Thomas has agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $2 million.
A former undrafted free agent, Thomas spent his first four years in the NFL up in Wisconsin with the Green Bay Packers, followed by three in the Lone Star State with the Dallas Cowboys.
Last season, Thomas performed well for Mike McCarthy's team who had their fair share of injuries to deal with on defense. However, Thomas also brings with him plenty of special teams experience which will come in handy for the Texans who appear to be putting a great deal of emphasis on bringing in guys who can bolster this unit.
Thomas, now 29, has 82 league appearances under his belt, primarily as a backup, a role which he will likely play in Houston along with special teams.
The Texans struggled with a lack of depth at linebacker in 2020 as starters and backups either went down injured or underperformed.
Clearly, Caserio is all too aware of this given that along with the signing of Thomas, the Texans have already added fellow linebackers Kamu Grugier-Hill, Christian Kirksey, and Shaq Lawson.
These moves could spell the end for linebackers Brennan Scarlett, Tyrell Adams, Dylan Cole, Kyle Emanuel, and Peter Kalambayi's time in Houston, who all hit free agency this week.
As it stands, with defensive coordinator Lovie Smith expected to implement a 'Tampa 2' style 4-3 defense, the core linebackers will likely be Kirksey, Zach Cunningham, and Whitney Mercilus, with Grugier-Hill and Thomas giving them proven and experienced options either as rotational players or simply backups.
Their signings will also allow Lawson to focus on moving to the front line to replace defensive end J.J. Watt, whose pass-rushing presence will be sorely missed.