Sunday, March 17, 2013

Former UConn OL finds a home with Colts

It's been a pretty lucrative offseason for some former UConn stars and other state products.
                                                                                       (Associated Press photo)
Former UConn offensive lineman Donald Thomas will go from protecting
future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady to doing the same for Andrew Luck

Robert McClain earned a bonus of $269,000 for his play with the Atlanta Falcons while Darius Butler was re-signed by Indianapolis.

Former Norwich Free Academy star Matt Shaughnessy and Windsor's Terrance Knighton signed with Arizona and Denver respectively. Shaughnessy signed for one year and Knighton for two years so bigger pay days could be ahead.

However, nobody did better for themselves during this free-agency period than former UConn offensive lineman Donald Thomas.

Thomas, signed a four year contract with $14 million with Indianapolis. It's been quite the ride for Thomas who did not appear in a game in the NFL during the 2010 season and started just one game with the New England Patriots in 2011. However, Thomas opened some eyes with his solid play when injuries led him to start seven games with the New England Patriots last season. Register columnist Chip Malafronte, my predecessor at the UConn football beat writer, spoke to Thomas for his Sunday column.

"It was all a new situation for me. I’ve never been that guy before,” Thomas said  “I feel blessed.

"I was given an opportunity this year and I capitalized on it. I knew I could still play, I just needed a genuine shot. New England gave me that shot. It was a battle for me in training camp just to make the roster.”

Thomas becomes the latest former Husky to join the Colts as Donald Brown, Butler and Scott Lutrus are other former UConn stars on the Colts' active roster. Fellow UConn products Greg Lloyd and Kashif Moore also spent time with the Colts in 2012. Lloyd was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia but did not make the opening-day roster while Moore was picked up by the Colts after Moore was cut by Cincinnati and spent time on the Colts practice squad.

I reached out to the Colts in September thinking that all the former Huskies being signed by the team would make an interesting story and/or blog but the only response I got was "I have not responded to this. Thanks."

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