Julius Thomas, the 6-year NFL tight end, has been traded from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Miami Dolphins. Jacksonville received a late 2017 draft pick, in which they will likely continue to focus on defensive players, as we have seen over the last couple of drafts.
Thomas became a household name during the 2013 season, when he gained 788 yards and caught 12 touchdowns for the Denver Broncos. After four seasons in Denver, he signed a 5-year deal with Jacksonville in March of 2015.
Despite being one of the most feared tight ends in the NFL in 2013-14, he stumbled while playing for the Jaguars. Thomas has yet to reach his breakout year of 2013 again, only combining for 736 yards and 9 touchdowns in the last two seasons combined.
Even though Thomas’ success has been consistently declining over the last three seasons, he will become the No. 1 tight end on Miami’s depth chart in front of Jordan Cameron. The Dolphins are expected to compete for a playoff spot after going 10-6 and losing to Pittsburgh in the Wild Card round.
As for Jacksonville, they will be looking elsewhere for offensive production, and continuing to focus mainly on defense. The Jaguars own the No. 4 overall pick in which SB Nation has Alabama’s Johnathan Allen being selected. Jacksonville has taken defensive players in the last two NFL Draft first rounds in Dante Fowler Jr. in 2015 and Jalen Ramsey in 2016.
There is also a separate twist to this trade, in which the same two teams are swapping Brandon Albert for a late 2018 draft pick. The Jaguars are getting Albert, who was drafted No. 15 overall in 2008 by Kansas City.
According to Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated, the trade came down to the fact that “both teams had players they no longer wanted.” We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out, but for now, both teams are content with their additions and subtractions.
Photo Credit: Phin Phanatic.