Could an unexpected name be on the move before the November 3rd trade deadline? Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com writes that the Saints “could be willing to move” wideout Michael Thomas. Florio notes that the feeling may also be shared by Thomas, who “could be interested in moving.”
For starters, there are some massive financial hurdles to consider from New Orleans’ side. As Florio details, a Thomas trade would lead to a $20MM cap charge in 2021, and couple that without a potential Drew Brees retirement/$22.65MM charge, the Saints could be eyeing $42.65MM in cap charges for two players who aren’t on their team. Thomas inked a massive five-year, $100MM extension in July of 2019 that made him the highest-paid receiver of all time. The contract was slightly restructured back in March.
Of course, those difficulties would be reflected in the hypothetical trade haul the Saints receive; as Florio notes, those financial complications don’t make a trade impossible. After all, the Saints would only accept an offer they couldn’t refuse for the star receiver, and the impending picks in a trade would somewhat make up for the pricey cap charges.
The fact that the Saints would even listen to offers is a bit telling, especially since Thomas appears to be on thin ice in New Orleans. He was benched in Week 5 (and fined a game check) after punching Chauncey Gardner-Johnson during a fight at practice. Thomas has also been limited to only one game after suffering a high ankle sprain, and a new hamstring injury will sideline him for this weekend’s game against the Panthers.
Of course, few suitors would put too much stock into his current production (three receptions, 17 yards). Instead, they’ll look at his incredible 2019 campaign where he finished with a single-season-record 149 receptions to go along 1725 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
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