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Adalius Thomas may be on the way

The Patriots released former All Pro linebacker Adalius

The Patriots released former All Pro linebacker Adalius Thomas on Monday. (Jan. 10, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Rex Ryan may look to a familiar old face for a little help.

With Calvin Pace sidelined with a foot injury that requires surgery, Ryan hinted the Jets may bring in OLB Adalius Thomas, a move that could happen relatively soon if the coach gets his wish.

"I would say that would be a possibility," Ryan said this afternoon on a conference call. "I wouldn't rule that out."

Pace has a broken bone in his right foot and the OLB is scheduled to have surgery in Charlotte, N.C. tomorrow. Some estimates have Pace out for 4 to 6 weeks, but no specific timetable has been given for his return. The Jets prefer to wait until the procedure is completed and, for now, Pace has only been ruled out for the Sept. 13 opener.

However, with the uncertainty surrounding Pace's recovery time, Ryan wants to spring into action and he's already spoken with the free agent. The two are obviously familiar from their days together in Baltimore from 2000-2006, but Ryan apparently has to get everyone else in the Jets' hierarchy on board with the potential move.

"Sometimes what really makes sense," Ryan said, "might not make sense to the organization. So, we'll see."

What factors would preclude the move from happening?

"If can be be anything," Ryan said. "It can be who's on the roster when you're making your evaluations. I don't want to bring A.D. up here not to have a roster spot for him if he plays the way we expect him to play. And right now, I can't say specifically that he would be on our team. So I don't want to bring him in until I know if he plays to expectations that there would be room for him.

"So that's something we're looking into."

Thomas was released by the Patriots in April, just three seasons after inking a five-year, $35 million contract in 2007. He sparred with Bill Belichick a bit, however, and was benched for two games this past season after arriving late for a team meeting.

The two-time Pro Bowler recorded 14.5 sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles in 39 games with New England. Ryan thinks he'd be able to help immediately.

"With us, he'd be a guy that would give you depth," Ryan said. "He was a Pro Bowler as a special teams player, he was tremendous player in our sub package. A lot of the defenses that we came up with that are looked at as maybe unique in the league was due because of his physical abilities and his mental abilities. So he definitely knows this system and I think he'd fit right back in.

"Again, we have a lot of great players on this team, so we are pretty successful without him. But we've got to look at do we need him No. 1 and by signing him what that would mean to the rest of the team."

Bringing Thomas on board might also give the Jets' defense a mental pick-me-up. Of course, they're already without CB Darrelle Revis, who's holdout has nearly reached a month. Subtracting a pair of big-time playmakers such as Pace and Revis certainly won't make things easy on the Jets.

"Whenever you’ve got two quality players like that, it's going to be tremendously difficult to try to stay up there at that same level," LB Bart Scott said. "But that being said, we just have to adjust the way we attack, and do things a little different, and not have as much flexibilty as we would like.

"But I think we can still get the job done. We just have to go about it a different way."

Don't expect Ryan to start worrying since he's minus Revis and Pace.

"We've got enough depth here," Ryan said. "We have enough good football players that the offenses need to be worried about our defense. We are definitely not worried about it."

"I have a lot of confidence in the guys we have still," he added. "I think we have guys that can rush the passer, I think that we have guys that can play man coverage. So I'm not nearly as concerned as maybe other people are."

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