The Giants restructured cornerback Terrell Thomas’s contract Monday in order to keep him on their roster.
Thomas, who hasn’t played in two straight seasons thanks to ACL injuries, was due a $6 million contract bonus next month which the Giants did not want to pay. Instead, he signed a one-year deal, with unreleased terms. He was expected to be given his release had a restructuring not occurred.
“At this point, I don’t care if they move me to kicker,” Thomas said in a release Monday. “I just want to play football.”
He had signed a four-year, $28 million deal with $11 million guaranteed, in March 2012.
Thomas was drafted in the second round in 2008 by the Giants and immediately made an impact in the secondary. In his rookie season he played mostly in nickel and dime packages — though he did start two games — finishing the season with one interception and one forced fumble. He became a starter the following season, starting all 16 games and finishing with 85 tackles and five interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He was so good he stole time away from incumbent starter Aaron Ross, who dealt with hamstring injuries much of the 2009 season. He also had five picks the following season, with a career-high four forced fumbles.
But he hasn’t been back on the field since.
He tore his ACL in back-to-back preseasons, but vowed he would return. He will have his chance in 2013, albeit with a smaller contract.
The ACL injury in 2012 was actually the third of his career. He originally tore his right ACL in college at USC in 2005. His third surgery came last September, so he expects to be ready to play by training camp in the fall.
“My knee feels great,” Thomas said Monday. “It was a little struggle at first. It was a little inconsistent with the swelling. But for the last month-and-a half I haven’t dealt with any swelling at all. It’s progressed the last two weeks since I started running. The doctors are really happy with the way I’m progressing. They had to increase my workload because it wasn’t enough.”
The Giants still have to make a decision on what to do with fellow cornerback Corey Webster, who has one year left on his contract. The team could save $7.25 million by cutting the corner, who had a disappointing 2012 season.
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