Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thomas Injury

It's really sad - Thomas had an ACL tear in college. He works hard, rehabs, gets drafted by the Giants, makes the team. Elevates himself to a starter and is in position to rise to the level of all pro last year in his walk year which means a big contract. But he blows out his ACL again in a meaningless preseason game because of an inadvertent collision with his own teammate, no less. Then not only is he deprived his chance at a big contract, he is even denied the chance to participate with his teammates who go all the way and win the title. He spends the entire year rehabbing again. Works his tail off to get back to his high athletic level. Giants, class organization that they are, offer him a contract that is back-loaded, meaning that they don't have big risk if he doesn't make it back, and if he has recovered and returns to a high level of play, the Giants get an appreciative player at a slightly lower price than the going rate for top shelf CBs. By all accounts, he looked strong and was moving fluidly in OTAs and in the first few days of camp. Then, an innocent slip and fall precipitates another ACL injury and Thomas is out again. The second ACL tear was career threatening, but this one is probably the killer. You've got to feel so sorry for him. We non-professional athletes relate to the game as just that - a game. We compare it to our own experiences playing in the schoolyard or in high school or even in college if we were so fortunate to do so and remember the joy and thrill of teamwork, competition and camaraderie with our teammates. If we were out and could not play for a while because of a broken bone or a cold, we would be disappointed at the loss of these enjoyable opportunities. But for professional athletes it's their income. It's their life. He trained his entire life to make a living doing this and now it might be gone. That's why I generally am sympathetic to the player who is trying to hold out for more money. One false step and his career and earning potential is over. I know that when they sign a contract they're supposed to live up to it, but it's hard to take a hard line when you see something like this happen.

Update: Latest news is that it is a partial tear of the ACL. He may get arthroscopic surgery to explore the extent of the damage. I guess we're going to find out what Prince A can bring to the table. CBs in football are like starting pitching in baseball: you can never have enough of them.

Not to get cold and machiavellian about this, but with Thomas' career on hold, Giants will surely not take the option and will not pay the roster bonus due him next March. But that means that there will be some more salary cap room next year and perhaps it means that Giants will reevaluate the Osi situation and make him an offer. Of course, they also have to throw some money at Cruz, Nicks, Tuck and Corey Webster in the next several years, so maybe they save their money for that.

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