With limited practice time and hardly any notice, Pierre Thomas provided the Redskins with a veteran presence in the locker room and a solid pair of hands coming out of the backfield. He joined Washington in Week 13, and the Redskins went on a four-game win streak from there to win the NFC East.
Thomas' arrival with the 'Skins did not directly impact the win streak, but it showed he was a player that could come in late in the year and be a positive influence on a young running back group of Alfred Morris, Matt Jones and Chris Thompson. Now, as the Redskins offseason moves along and the team must decide what to do with the free agent to be Morris, a player like Thomas could have more opportunity.
"I mean I’m still going to continue to work out and hopefully I do get a call back from this organization because I feel like I’m a good fit here," Thomas told Redskins.com.
"I feel like I can help out and I mean I like this organization, I like this team, I like the coaching staff, you know, they gave me a chance, they believed that I still had talent left and I wanted to show everybody. The Washington Redskins gave me that opportunity."
In four games with Washington, Thomas accounted for about 140 yards from scrimmage. With Morris a below grade pass-catcher and Thompson and Jones banged up late in the year, the Skins were relatively desperate for a 3rd down type running back, and Thomas made sense.
Next season, however, Thomas may not make sense. Assuming Jones can get back to full health, it would seem that GM Scot McCloughan would expect him to be the lead ball carrier. The former Florida Gator can also catch the ball out of the backfield, as he broke a few long plays on passes from Kirk Cousins.
Prior to 2015, Thomas played eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He was out of football for most of the 2015 season, which made him available for McCloughan to call late in the year. Anything but a lock for a roster spot in 2016, especially with the NFL Draft and free agency period still to come, chances of Thomas' return to the Skins looks slim.
Thomas has been part of a Super Bowl winner with the Saints, and he said that the feeling among the Redskins players was of a team chasing those same goals.
"It’s just great attitude around this locker room and I want to be a part of that again and hopefully I can."