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Kevin Colbert’s Worst Free Agent Signings: DL Cam Thomas

New sequence I’ll briefly kick up over the subsequent couple of weeks. I’m not going to undergo an exhaustive record of Kevin Colbert’s free agent signings the way in which I did his draft picks earlier within the month. But I’ll hit on the notable finest – and worst – offers Colbert made throughout free company all through his time as Pittsburgh Steelers’ GM.

Back to the worst in the present day with DL Cam Thomas.

Cam Thomas/DL – 2 years, $4 million (2014)

Financially, Cam Thomas was not a significant anchor on the Steelers’ wage cap. And thank God for that. But he’s such a notable miss by Colbert I had a number of readers point out his title after my first “worst signing” article. So by (un)standard demand, we’re speaking about Thomas. And with good cause.

Though Colbert and the Steelers didn’t provide Thomas an Albert Haynesworth-level deal, $4 million for him felt like $4 million an excessive amount of. The 12 months prior, Thomas began ten video games for the Chargers however light down the stretch and was out of the beginning lineup and in a diminished function by season’s finish.

Still, the Steelers someway noticed sufficient in him to signal him to a two-year deal for comparatively small however actually not insignificant cash, particularly for the usually cash-strapped group. His function was much more vital. He entered 2014 because the starter, seeing roughly 2/3 of the snaps. His play picked up the place it left off and Thomas was a critical legal responsibility on the sphere.

Pittsburgh opened the 12 months getting gashed towards the run. 191 yards by the Browns, 157 by the Ravens. That can’t all be pinned on Thomas however he actually was a weak hyperlink and it confirmed. Worst but, his presence was conserving rookie Stephon Tuitt glued to the bench. Tuitt was a primary spherical expertise who solely fell into Day Two as a consequence of a hernia harm and was seeing crumbs for snaps behind Thomas.

Thomas struggled a lot that he principally modified the Steelers’ philosophy of taking part in rookies. Instead of conserving them on the bench their first 12 months (or two) to study the sport and earn their maintain, the group gave in mid-way by means of the season and identical to the Chargers, benched Thomas. Tuitt was lastly capable of crack the beginning lineup and by no means seemed again.

In Week One, Thomas performed 67% of the snaps. By Week 17, he was down to simply 8%, six snaps within the common season finale towards Cincinnati. Perhaps out of a sunk value fallacy, the group hung onto Thomas for the 2015 season although he entered and remained as a rotational backup, normally taking part in simply 10-15 snaps per recreation.

In two years with Pittsburgh, Thomas recorded solely 29 tackles and a half-sack as Tuitt blossomed and Heyward started to determine his dominance. The Steelers let Thomas hit free company after the 2015 season and he signed a minimum-benefit take care of the Rams, hanging across the league the subsequent two seasons earlier than retiring (he did briefly pop up within the Indoor Football League in 2020).

Teams lacking on free agent signings are widespread. Happens yearly. What makes Thomas totally different is how apparent it was. No one, even when he initially signed, noticed the transfer as a shrewd one. The time when a participant indicators is when followers ought to be essentially the most hopeful. That in their system, that this 12 months, all the celebs will align and the participant’s going to work out. Not the case with Thomas. Our web site noticed the transfer as a shaky one, writing:

“Not an athlete and quite possibly the slowest man on the field in every game I observed…no one is expecting him to fly around. But the troubling issue is that poor first step. Thomas is very heavy-legged and slow off the ball.”

Check out the feedback from Depot Readers when Thomas’ contract phrases had been introduced. Some of them stated:

“They should see one thing in him. I don’t.

What a occupation which you can be rewarded multi-million $$ contract for performing poorly and sitting on the bench … good !

Smells like desperation to me proper now. Hope I’m improper.

Wtf, looks as if just a little a lot for this man.”

All feedback that proved to be true and correct.

As the cherry on high of this crap sandwich, the Steelers opted towards signing DL Al Woods, who took a two-year, $5 million deal to land in Tennessee. They selected to avoid wasting a million and provides Thomas that cash as an alternative. Woods was and remained a strong run stuffer whereas Thomas was a damaging impression on the group. Just twists the knife that rather more.

Thomas wasn’t Colbert’s worst signing. Sean Mahan was worse and there’s others we’ll talk about that surpass his mark. But Thomas was arguably essentially the most irritating. It was a horror film. You’re sitting at house, watching the primary character stroll into the ghoulish-looking constructing in the midst of evening through the storm and yelling Don’t go in there, you’re gonna get your self killedBut you realize he’s going to do it anyway, see that hockey masks flicker within the shadows, and it’s all she wrote. That’s Cam Thomas. Knew it was going to be a nasty transfer and shock, it was.

Rest In Peace that $4 million. We hardly knew ye.

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