At this time one year ago, Logan Thomas was an unknown in Washington.
Thomas had signed with the club in March of 2020, but the quarterback-turned-tight-end had never been a true starter before. In fact, the most receptions Thomas had ever hauled in during one season prior to 2020 was just 16.
Then, 2020 happened. Thomas emerged as one of the best stories in football, snagging 72 receptions for 670 yards and six touchdowns. In Washington, he was easily the second-most feared threat on the outside behind Terry McLaurin. Objectively, he should have made the Pro Bowl, too, as his numbers far outpaced a few of the tight ends selected.
Earlier this week, Washington signed Thomas to a three-year extension, one that doesn't expire until after the 2024 season. Thomas' new deal is just the latest chapter in what has been one of the most successful position switches in recent memory.
"It is a journey that not a lot of players have been able to take," Thomas told reporters on Wednesday following practice in Richmond. "But it’s a journey that a lot of people respect, especially people that have made the position switch.
"The Julian Edelman’s of the world, they made the transition from quarterback to wide receiver and such," Thomas continued. "It’s a journey where, I was drafted, cut, a year later, cut another year later, cut again, cut again, cut again, cut again. Detroit said they didn’t want me. Washington said they did. Just one of those things where if you keep your head down and keep working, anything is possible."
A quarterback at Virginia Tech, Thomas was selected by the Cardinals in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. Yet, he was cut after just one season and spent the next two years bouncing around practice squads before switching to tight end.
Over the next three years, two with Buffalo, one with Detroit, Thomas would appear in 40 games, starting eight of them. Although Thomas played mainly a reserve role for both the Bills and Lions, being able to make the position switch and even contributing a little bit was still quite impressive.
But then after arriving in Washington, Thomas proved not only could he play tight end, but he also had the ability to be one of the league's better players at the position.
"I was blessed to have the ability to make a position switch. A lot of guys aren’t," Thomas said. "A lot of guys tell me I am paving the way for other guys, that isn’t the way I look at it. Everyone has their skillset. It is just doing it. If you are willing to put the work in, it’s possible.”
Thomas said on Wednesday that about halfway through the 2020 season was when he realized he could potentially be in line for an extension. Now that it's happened, he's thrilled.
"I always knew I could play. I always knew that if I got an opportunity, I would be able to do something, it was just getting the opportunity," Thomas said. "Ron Rivera and [TE Coach] Pete Hoener, [OC] Scott [Turner], they gave me the opportunity to play, and I played pretty well. Beyond blessed and beyond thankful."
The tight end said that extension talks began earlier in July, with Washington originally coming in with an offer that he felt was lower than he deserved. Ultimately, the two sides were able to come to an agreement that everyone thought was fair.
"We worked on it, worked on it, worked on it and got to a number that all parties agreed was a good number," Thomas said. "We got to it about two days ago when it really released. It was a quick, but a long 12 hours when we really started kicking through it. I went to bed at like two in the morning, woke up and drove here. I am super excited about it. I am most excited that my family is taken care of."
Thomas' extension was announced just one day after the team signed defensive tackle Jonathan Allen to a long-term deal, too. Like Allen, Thomas also grew up in Virginia, with Washington the closest franchise to his hometown of Lynchburg. Being able to play and succeed for the Burgundy and Gold is a dream come true for the tight end.
"It's amazing to be able to stay home, especially playing for my hometown team, the team I grew up playing with. I'm blessed beyond belief," Thomas said. "I know Jon said, 'Washington for life' and that's exactly how I feel, as well. It's been for me just to get back to here."
Last year, Allen and Thomas were two of the team's biggest leaders. They embody the personality and fit the culture that Rivera is trying to create in Washington.
Now that both players are locked up long-term, they can now focus on continuing to build this franchise back up in the right direction.
"I know that Jon is a great dude. He is an amazing person to have in the locker room. His knowledge of the game is top-notch, obviously, or else he would not be paid like he did," Thomas said. "We are both guys from Virginia. We understand what Washington is like. We understand the legacy of the old school or what it was in the ’90s or early 2000s. Some of the struggles, some of the highs, the lows, we respect that. We want to see this program be the best it possibly can be for a long time.”