Updated: Nov 29, 2021
By Adam Aniba
Washington and Ron Rivera continued to be aggressive this offseason, signing tight end Logan Thomas to a 3-year $24 million extension with $10.3 million guaranteed,only one day after extending defensive end John Allen.
*Contract breakdown for Thomas: '22 $6.46 million, '23 $8.75 million, '24 $1.75 million (roster bonus $300k-$425k + an additional $500k roster bonus on the 5th day of the league year in 2024).
In 2020 Thomas logged 72 catches (ranked 3rd among TE's in '20) with 15 of those receptions being critical red-zone catches (ranked 2nd). Thomas would have the best season of his career in 2020, registering 670 receiving yards resulting in 6 touchdowns with 9.3 ypc. With 4 different signal callers under center last season, Thomas was the consistent security blanket, regardless of who he was catching passes from.
Thomas displayed time and time again, that he could make a big play in clutch situations or set the tone with a block in the run game. Those efforts led to a well deserved extension for another great locker room influence. It's also worth noting, that many believed Thomas could’ve made even more money in the open market based on his age and overall ability.
It's hard to believe Thomas was calling plays under center for Virginia Tech only 8 years ago. Although he had 9,003 career passing yards for 52 td's and 1,359 yards rushing for 24 td's, he only recorded 2 rec for 11 yards and 1 touchdown during his career in Blacksburg, VA.
Going back and rewatching his college film was fun, it was clear why Rivera and his staff believed in Thomas' ability as an overall athlete. Thomas certainly looks like a much better athlete and a lot more physically imposing now. The converted quarterback can contribute in multiple ways on offense and will get more opportunities, especially after Ron Rivera added more offensive weapons in free agency and the draft.
During last Thursday's’ Training Camp presser, Ryan Fitzpatrick had the following to say about his early impression of Thomas.
“He's different from the normal tight ends you see and he’s very versatile. He worked his butt off and the young players can look to him for questions.”
Year Two Under Turner
In year two, Thomas is primed for a breakout season, but the OC/Player relationship will be a key. As with Thomas, Scott Turner is also in his second year in Washington with a lot to prove as a young OC. Turner and Thomas developed a repore in 2020 with over 100 targets in the passing game, while marching out four different starting quarterbacks in 17 games.
After drafting more of a prototypical “Y” blocking tight end in Boise State's John Bates (124th overall selection), utilizing more 12-personnel formations will open up the playbook and opportunities for Turner to be more creative with Thomas
Considering Thomas’ ability as a passer and overall athlete (1 pass att 28 yards '21), expect more misdirection plays, that should lead to more splash plays exposing mismatches. Although Thomas has only attempted 11 passes in his NFL career, he has the ability to do a lot more if given the opportunity. Potentially customizing a few read-option packages for Thomas would be wise. Even if the former Hokie quarterback doesn't throw a pass, he's can tuck & run, after displaying how difficult he can be in the open field.
The narrow playoff loss to Tampa Bay last season, displayed how good Thomas can be against the best linebackers in the game (5 rec for 74 yards). Thomas is just scratching the surface of how versatile he can be in Turner’s scheme. New signal caller Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to be the week #1 starter, barring a setback. Having the veteran signal caller with so much experience, who’s battle tested will only help Thomas’ maturation process.
Thomas sees the field as a signal caller, with an understanding how to find openings in a defense, which should lead to a breakout season for Washington’s unquestioned TE#1.
*Our Bold Prediction for 2021 (other than the QB situation)- Logan Thomas will lead the team in with 13 touchdowns and just fall short of 1k receiving yards.
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*Photos credit of Washingtonfootball.com