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Sources: Giants linebacker J.T. Thomas takes significant pay cut


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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Now that linebacker J.T. Thomas is off the physically unable to perform list, the New York Giants adjusted his contract. He took a $2.2 million pay cut, sources told ESPN’s Field Yates, with the opportunity to earn some of it back.
Thomas’ base salary was reduced from $2.975 million to $775,000, the league minimum for a player with six years of experience. Thomas can also earn a $20,000 roster bonus and up to $400,000 in playing-time incentives (if he plays at least 70 percent of the defensive snaps).
The veteran linebacker is in the final season of a three-year, $10 million deal he received as a free agent in 2015. Thomas also took a pay cut last season, and is battling for a roster spot this summer. He was activated from the PUP list on Tuesday and participated in individual drills only.
Thomas’ pay cut was inevitable. He played in just one game last season after tearing his ACL in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. He was scheduled to make $3 million this year and count $4 million against the salary cap.
The Giants freed up over $2 million in cap space with the move and are $9,746,998 under the salary cap, according to NFLPA records.
Thomas is in the running to earn a backup linebacker job. He enters a mix with Mark Herzlich, Calvin Munson, Curtis Grant and Deontae Skinner. Special teams should play heavily into the equation. Thomas is known as a strong special-teams player.
It’s unlikely Thomas will play Monday night in preseason action against the Cleveland Browns, but there will be an opportunity for him over the next few weeks to earn a roster spot. The Giants have three preseason games remaining this summer.
“That’s the whole point of training camp is right now, guys are fighting for roles,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “There are a few players that have some roles obviously, but he’s one of the guys that’s going to get out there and have a chance to fight for a role.”
Thomas, 29, has played in just 13 games -- with 11 starts -- in his first two seasons with the Giants.
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