Signed late last season, nine-year veteran Pierre Thomas could re-join the Redskins in 2016 as the team looks to bolster its running back situation.
While Pierre Thomas was a well-established running back in the NFL, the veteran joined the Washington Redskins last season with an unclear role during their stretch run to the playoffs.
With Chris Thompson dealing with a shoulder injury and Matt Jones' hip issue, Thomas was signed on Dec. 11, just two days before the Redskins played the Chicago Bears.
Thomas wasn't the team's featured back over the last month of the season, but he served his role as veteran leader and occasional change-of-pace back well, totaling 52 rushing yards and 84 receiving yards on 54 offensive snaps.
The 31-year-old is once again a free agent and the Redskins, who potentially have a spot or two available at the running back this offseason, are keeping tabs on him.
"Yeah, there's still some options out there. I think Pierre is one of them," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "He did such a good job when he came in last year on short notice. It'd be nice to have him from the beginning of OTAs and training camp. So he's definitely on our board. We're keeping a close eye on him. Obviously we have the draft coming up, some good options there in the draft. So we'll address the running back positon again at some point."
In his career, a majority of which came with the New Orleans Saints, Thomas has totaled 833 carries with 3,809 yards and 28 touchdowns along with 336 receptions for 2,692 yards and 12 touchdowns.
When he signed with the Redskins, Thomas said he simply wanted to add his brand of leadership to a team contending for a playoff spot. He did that and more, Gruden said.
"First class," Gruden said of Thomas. "It was a great experience. You have a great experience with their performance which he was very solid in helping us. But also off the field, his professionalism. You're not going to find more of a professional guy than Pierre Thomas, he's on time, into it, helping the younger guys, helping Matt Jones, led by example type of guy which is huge for those guys."
The Redskins currently have four running backs on the roster with Jones, Thompson, Mack Brown and Silas Redd Jr.
Longtime starter Alfred Morris, a free agent after completing his four-year rookie deal with the Redskins this past season, this week signed with the Dallas Cowboys on a reported two-year deal.
If the Redskins do ultimately re-sign Thomas, like last season, he'll likely have to wait a little bit to carve out his exact role on the field.
"You don't want to go crazy signing a bunch of backs and then draft one and have to cut them anyway," Gruden said. "So I think we want to find out exactly where we stand after the draft. It could be an exception like Pierre or something like that. But we like the backs that we have in the building right now. We've got to keep Matt healthy, We've got to get Chris Thompson back healthy and then Silas coming back and then we'll address another one."