In a subscriber-only piece for ESPN Insider last Friday, Len Pasquarelli indicated that contract talks between unsigned restricted free agent Pierre Thomas and the Saints had broken down.
The report has been disputed by Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Duncan reports that the Saints have made Thomas a long-term contract offer, and negotiations are ongoing. “It’ll get done
,” Duncan wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
Pasquarelli had asserted that Thomas was seeking Steven Jackson-like money, or something in the range of $44.805 million over six years
. Jackson averaged 25 touches per game compared to Thomas’ 13.3 last season, so Thomas isn’t considered as vital a part of New Orleans’ offense as Jackson is in St. Louis.
The Saints also extended only a second-round tender to Thomas as a restricted free agent, indicating that they don’t necessarily see him as indispensable.
Still, Thomas has been highly effective in his limited role. Among running backs with over 120 carries in 2009, only Jamaal Charles and Chris Johnson averaged more yards per rushing attempt.
Thomas’ role is also expected to expand this year with Mike Bell gone. He remains a priority re-signing for the Saints.