Saints, Michael Thomas Agree To Deal

It’s a done deal. And it’s one for the record books (for now, at least). 

On Wednesday morning, the Saints and Michael Thomas agreed to a five-year, $100MM extension with $61MM guaranteed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The new deal makes him the league’s highest-paid receiver of all-time on a yearly basis.

With the new deal, Thomas is tied to New Orleans through the 2024 season. In 2019, he’ll still earn a paltry $1.148MM in the final year of his rookie contract, but he’s already locked in plenty of dough at signing.

The deal marks plenty of firsts for the Saints as well. They’ve never paid a non-QB skill-position player more than $10MM per year, but they’re now paying Thomas $20MM per annum. The previous watermark was owned by tight end Jimmy Graham, who banked $10MM/season before being traded to the Seahawks in 2015.

Last season, Thomas set Saints records with 125 catches and 1,405 yards while adding nine touchdown grabs. He was wildly efficient, too – Thomas’ catch rate of 84.5% was the highest of any NFL receiver since at least 2001.

With Thomas’ deal done, the attention will now shift to fellow standout wide receivers in search of their own monster contracts. Unlike Thomas, Falcons star Julio Jones has participated in training camp, but he is expecting a contract that will either match or exceed Thomas’ in average annual value. There’s also Bengals star A.J. Green to consider, though his recent injury may be a barrier in talks.

Down the line, Thomas’ new deal will also have ramifications for the Cowboys and Chiefs as they consider extensions for Amari Cooper and Tyreek Hill.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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19 comments on “Saints, Michael Thomas Agree To Deal

    • Its a shame how flimsy these contracts are when it comes to the players. So many outs for the club and league and no real protection for the players minus guarantees (even that sometimes can be done over).

      Hopefully in next CBA they fix some of that. Maybe one idea is use a percentage of the profit sharing as bonuses based on ranking or statistics or awards to help those that under paid without hitting the salary cap.

        • You can say that in any league. Gilbert Arenas, Kevin Garnett, Alex Rodriguez last contract. Thats on the talent evaluators to set a good value and do their best to get players worth their value.

          Draft picks fall into the same category. Look at Mark Sanchez and how long he was kept around because of the “value” of the pick. Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russel, Geno Smith, Trent Richardson, Kevin White, etc etc

          how about Demaryius Thomas? He has a 3M contract but if he gets cut he only gets 150K of that 3M (5% of the deal he signed). This may be just so the Patriots have salary to sign someone else and not necessarily his skill.

  1. sigmanj

    Davante Adams is the league’s biggest bargain (post roomie contract) in the league. GB is smart to lock up certain guys early.

  2. TJECK109

    I just wonder what you do with a 20mil a year receiver once Brees retires unless they trade for an established vet.

    • bradthebluefish
      bradthebluefish

      Agreed. Though I don’t blame the Saints for trying for a Championship run a few more times before Brees retires. They’ll have to do a full rebuild when that day comes.

  3. Isnt Khalil Mack’s guarantee larger than this? or did the writer mean for offensive players?

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