BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Bears crowded situation at wide receiver took an unexpected turn Sunday when Devin Thomas, signed this offseason and expected to be a factor on special teams, announced via Twitter that he was retiring.
I have decided to retire from the NFL, Thomas tweeted on @IamDevinThomas.
The 25-year-old indicated he is taking his life in a different direction, subsequently tweeting, "God has blessed me with achieving a childhood dream. I want to give back to my hometown and coachmentor kids so they can reach their own. 1LUV.
Thomas had struggled at times with drops and was sliding toward a roster bubble with undrafted free agent Brittan Golden from West Texas A&M and Dane Sanzenbacher, already in a battle to retain his roster spot. Sanzenbacher has been getting time as a punt returner and contributed 27 catches last season, while Golden has flashed repeatedly in drills and full-team sessions.
The Bears are expected to keep six wide receivers on this years roster, with the top five all but assured at this point: Earl Bennett, Devin Hester, Alshon Jeffery, Brandon Marshall and Eric Weems.
Thomas, a second-round draft choice of the Washington Redskins in 2008, signed a one-year deal for 700,000 last March 29. He spent 2011 with the New York Giants and recovered two crucial fumbles in the Giants NFC Championship win over the San Francisco 49ers.