ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills added to their depth at linebacker by agreeing to undisclosed terms with veteran free agent Pat Thomas on Thursday.
Thomas, 26, will compete for an outside linebacker position with last season's starter, Keith Ellison. The 6-foot-1, 237-pound Thomas started the first nine games at middle linebacker last season with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he is more suited to play on the outside. He also could serve as a backup to starting middle linebacker Paul Posluszny.
In 2008, Thomas finished with a career-high 48 tackles -- including 33 solo -- and also was a solid special-teams contributor. He missed four games because of a hamstring injury.
Thomas was originally selected by Jacksonville in the sixth round of the 2005 draft and spent the first three seasons of his NFL career with the Jaguars.
Along with Thomas and Ellison, Alvin Bowen also will be in the mix to start at linebacker for the Bills. Bowen, Buffalo's fifth-round pick in 2008, missed his entire rookie season because of a knee injury.
Kawika Mitchell will start at the other outside linebacker position.
Angelo Crowell, Buffalo's starting outside linebacker in 2007, missed all of 2008 because of a knee injury. He visited with the Bills earlier this week, but he signed a contract with Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Other free-agent linebackers who visited the Bills included Cato June, Freddie Keiaho and Jamie Winborn.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press