JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A year after giving Mike Thomas a new contract, the Jacksonville Jaguars are giving him a new home.
The Jaguars traded Thomas to the Detroit Lions on Tuesday for an undisclosed draft pick.
The trade makes sense for both sides.
The Lions (3-4) lost receiver Nate Burleson for the season last week, so Thomas gives them depth behind Calvin Johnson, Titus Young and rookie Ryan Broyles.
The Jaguars (1-6), meanwhile, get a draft pick for a player who clearly has fallen out of favor with a new coaching staff. First-round draft pick Justin Blackmon and second-year pro Cecil Shorts III passed Thomas on the depth chart, and the Jaguars recently stripped him of his role as punt returner.
It's been a swift slide for a player who signed a three-year extension worth $18 million last October. The deal included $9 million guaranteed.
Thomas has just 13 receptions for 80 yards this season. He also has returned eight punts for 56 yards. A fourth-round draft pick from Arizona in 2009, Thomas has 171 catches for 1,768 yards and six touchdowns in four seasons. But his effort was under fire late last season when it became obvious he was unhappy being part of the league's worst offense.
Also Tuesday, the Jaguars signed center/guard Steve Vallos and rookie Brandon Marshall to the 53-man roster. The team waived quarterback John Parker Wilson and running back Keith Toston, and also waived cornerback Prince Miller from the practice squad.
Vallos, a seventh-round draft pick by Seattle in 2007, spent three seasons with the Seahawks and the last two with Cleveland. He signed as a free agent with Philadelphia this summer and played in two games before being released last week. He has played in 42 games with eight starts.
Marshall, a fifth-round draft pick in April, spent the first seven weeks on Jacksonville's roster before being waived Saturday. He saw action in four games and recorded two special teams tackles.