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Saints see Pierre Thomas as a backup, will lower tender offer

Pierre Thomas’ agent LaMont Smith says his client isn’t asking for Steven Jackson money.

Something less Chester Taylor money, however, isn’t going to cut it.  Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that the Saints’ initial long-term offer to Thomas was four years and $11 million.  No wonder Thomas isn’t happy.

The Saints reportedly haven’t budged from that offer, which would pay Thomas as a mediocre backup during the prime of his career.  Taylor received $12.5 million over four years earlier this offseason from the Bears, but he’s an aging player and that deal was heavily front-loaded.

New Orleans is playing hardball.  Duncan tweeted this morning that the Saints plan to reduce Thomas’ $1.6 million tender offer on June 15 if he’s still unsigned.  They could take his salary down to $500,000, which is a significant threat for an undrafted player that has never earned half a million.

Paying Thomas like a true backup is a ridiculous bargaining stance.  He’s led the Saints running backs in yards from scrimmage the last two years and his role is expected to increase. Reggie Bush will earn $8 million in 2010.

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46 Responses to “Saints see Pierre Thomas as a backup, will lower tender offer”
  1. BenRapistberger says: Jun 10, 2010 10:06 AM

    Pierre Thomas? WHO DAT?

  2. Kay Bee says: Jun 10, 2010 10:06 AM

    Well he hasn’t rushed for 1,000 yards yet….but on the flip side, it’s hard to put up big numbers in the Saints’ offense…unless you’re Drew Brees.

  3. JoshMac28 says: Jun 10, 2010 10:08 AM

    I understand it may be a “ridiculous bargaining stance”, but why should they pay him more if they don’t have to?
    Restricted Free Agency is in place to protect the owners. Just like Reggie Bush isn’t going to give any of his money back from his first contract, even though he wasn’t the main ball carrier, the Saints shouldn’t give Thomas more than they have to just to make him happy.

  4. E.F.Cuttin says: Jun 10, 2010 10:11 AM

    WOW!!! C’mon on Mr.Benson, dont revert back to “Tightwad Tommy” now that we got a Lombardi. PT is worth more than 11 mil over 4 years and U all know it…so much 4 merit,and yet people still bitch when players hold out… I’m rollin with PT on this one…

  5. Levito says: Jun 10, 2010 10:15 AM

    Wow, that’s a cheap move by an organization that’s paying Reggie Bush $8MM to party at the Playboy mansion and not do anything impressive on the football field.
    Thomas should sign his tender now, sit out until 30 days before the season starts (so he can accrue a season of eligibility), and make it a top priority to just not get hurt this season. Run until first contact, then drop to the ground real quick. If the coaching staff has a problem, just tell them that $1.8MM is only good up to first contact, but that it will take a lot more to get him to push beyond that. If he’s not important enough to the team to pay like the feature RB he is on that team, why should the team be that important to him that he would risk his career for bottom-of-the-barrel pay?

  6. Bucket says: Jun 10, 2010 10:16 AM

    Oh Saints!! Pay the man! Don’t mess with your team now that you finally are good. After years and years and years of being downright awful, they are finally good and now they’re going to lose valuable players b/c they want to be cheapskates?!! Shame on them – they’ll be right back to being bag heads once Drew Brees retires if they’re going to play it like this!! It;s an uncapped year for goodness sakes! Frontload a five year deal with a nice sized bonus and pay the man!!!

  7. kingmj4891 says: Jun 10, 2010 10:16 AM

    He will either take the deal at 11 million or sign his tender and hope to hit the market next year for a big pay day. Yeah he had a couple of decent seasons decent not great. So STFU and get on that field. His agent is probably gonna f up his career over greed.

  8. 69ers says: Jun 10, 2010 10:19 AM

    PT is a better all around back than Bush. The saint’s should ask Bush to restructure otherwise cut him and pay PT.

  9. Nogard13 says: Jun 10, 2010 10:25 AM

    Complete BS!
    Pierre Thomas:
    2008: 909 total yards, 12 TDs
    2009: 1095 total yards, 8 TDs
    Reggie Bush:
    2008: 844 total yards, 6 TDs
    2009: 725 total yards, 8 TDs
    Thomas has performed BETTER than Reggie in each of the last two years, including last year where he shared the backfield with Bell and missed the first two games due to injury.

  10. kennethnoisewater says: Jun 10, 2010 10:33 AM

    The only reason Thomas hasn’t put up big numbers is because Sean Payton would rather give carries to mediocre players like Mike Bell and Lynell Hamilton. There’s a reason he’s the only back who sees the field when everything is on the line.

  11. Bob says: Jun 10, 2010 10:35 AM

    It’s not about better. Reggie Bush=more jersey sales and original contract as the No. 2 overall pick. Pierre Thomas was an undrafted free agent. Good player, vital to the team last year, but running backs are a dime a dozen. It’s foolish to shell out big money to him, especially in a passing offense with a quarterback who is due a new contract soon.

  12. BRUTUS9448 says: Jun 10, 2010 10:37 AM

    reggie bush is a waste. cut him and pay thomas

  13. Jaywalk says: Jun 10, 2010 10:39 AM

    Hahahahahaha
    Discord in the Big Easy. Hey Who Dat Nation, your one hit wonders.

  14. sdffa11 says: Jun 10, 2010 10:42 AM

    wow. the balls this ownership has to lowball a quality player like that. thomas should just sit out, he has the leverage because he knows reggie bush can’t handle the rushing workload by himself.

  15. raynman49 says: Jun 10, 2010 10:44 AM

    With the unemployment situation that we have, it’s hard to feel sorry for overpaid athletes. However, this guy deserves more than Bush or Taylor, all things being relevant. Pay him!

  16. NOLA24 says: Jun 10, 2010 10:45 AM

    Sounds idiotic but comparing Bush and Thomas mere on stats is ridiculous. Teams have to spend more time to prepare for Bush than Thomas. Reggie creates more headaches for defenses. He is by far the best decoy in the NFL. He allows for other plays to be successful even though he is not carrying the ball. There is a REASON the Saints are paying him.

  17. aschwartz says: Jun 10, 2010 10:46 AM

    This is a very similar situation to Ernest Graham for the Bucs two years ago. A guy puts up good numbers but doesn’t quite make you believe that they are going to be a long term superstar.
    I know that PT is a different type of runner that EG and I am not saying that he will be relegated to a lower role like EG was. But I can understand where Benson is coming from.
    I think Graham got about 10 mil over 4 years. I believe Pierre Thomas should get around 14-16 over 4 years. I’m guessing he is asking for 20.

  18. saintswhodi says: Jun 10, 2010 10:48 AM

    It doesn’t really matter how Thomas has performed in relationship to Reggie, because their situations are completely different. Reggie was the second overall pick in his draft, Thomas was undrafted. So common sense says there will be a HUGE disparity in their pay, and there is, and that pay has nothing to do with performance. And forget about the Saints asking Reggie to take a paycut. That ain’t happening coming off the Superbowl win, and what Reggie meant to the city when he was drafted. It is what it is.
    What matters is Pierre’s play relevant to his peers, and relevant to his position on this team. A) Pierre is not a featured back. He is in a platoon, and in this offense, he always will be. Drew Brees is the offense, as Jamaal Brown, two time pro bowler at LT, is finding out. Drew is the only untouchable on offense. B) Even in a platoon, Pierre didn’t stay healthy for all 16 last year. C) Pierre was not very good in short yardage situations. I think I read an article by Pat Kirwan that sais he was like 1 for 5 on 1 yard or less to go plays, and he averaged less than a yard on those carries. Kirwin’s article breaks down a lot more stats so I won’t get carried away with that here. You can read it yourself at NFL.com. The point is though, it’s easy to get caught up in post Superbowl euphoria and rush to make bad decisions that at the time look good, but the Saints are taking a shrewd approach to be viable beyond just one season. 4 years 11 mil may seem a little low, and I hope the budge northward maybe another 2 mil, but Thomas’ value isn’t much more than that now. And with his tender offer about to be reduced from 1.5 mil to $500,000, he best get to signing and get in the fold before he plays out this year at half a mil.

  19. Zane says: Jun 10, 2010 10:52 AM

    Worry not… Lynell Hamilton will save the day.
    LMAO

  20. E.F.Cuttin says: Jun 10, 2010 10:55 AM

    Based on that offer Tom Benson has got 2 be thinking about big money extension he gave a RB (Deuce McAllister).He only played 1 full season(2006) after signing that $50 mil extension in 05…
    Also,based on past moves,one of which was PT’s making the team in the 1st place,I bet the team feels they can find another diamond in the rough (the re-signing of PJ Hill,who they lamented losing off their practice squad,was well recieved here by the Who Dat Nation)
    I feel they should show a little more love than 2 give him less than Chester Taylor money….

  21. Roethlisberger's Bitch Tits says: Jun 10, 2010 10:58 AM

    How many td’s did Bell vulture from Thomas the past 2 seasons? This was strategic last year and Payton knows it. Thomas isn’t the best rb in the league but he could easily get 1200 and 10 for them if given the oppurtunity.
    That said, it really looks like the owners are reeling in the price of players contracts for the sake of the league. With no cba on the table, the owners are saying this is what we are offering, if you don’t like it leave. Now that they are leaving players like Otogwe are learning that other teams are not outbidding each other for his services. So its pretty much take what we give you or there is a great new career oppurtunity at Lowe’s. I applaud the owners for sticking together on this, the players are spoiled and overpaid.

  22. Kay Bee says: Jun 10, 2010 10:59 AM

    Jaywalk says:
    June 10, 2010 10:39 AM
    Hahahahahaha
    Discord in the Big Easy. Hey Who Dat Nation, your one hit wonders.
    —————————————————-
    *you’re
    Oh…and I guess it’s better than being NO hit wonders. *shrugs*

  23. Tcostant says: Jun 10, 2010 11:01 AM

    He needs at least twice that – 4 Years $22 million with at least half upfront.
    Man – this team won a Super Bowl – step up!

  24. TheDPR says: Jun 10, 2010 11:01 AM

    NOLA24, your comments are absurd. Nobody fears Bush unless he’s returning a kick and certainly nobody has to gameplan for him any more than any other RB. Bush is a 3rd down back who wish he was as good as a guy like Leon Washington or Darren Sproles.

  25. 39576 says: Jun 10, 2010 11:05 AM

    Why should we believe this story. Ya’ll haven’t been right yet on any of your other Thomas postings.

  26. Kay Bee says: Jun 10, 2010 11:09 AM

    TheDPR says:
    June 10, 2010 11:01 AM
    NOLA24, your comments are absurd. Nobody fears Bush unless he’s returning a kick and certainly nobody has to gameplan for him any more than any other RB. Bush is a 3rd down back who wish he was as good as a guy like Leon Washington or Darren Sproles.
    ————————————————————–
    If you believe nobody fears or gameplans for Bush, then you don’t know much about football.

  27. Mister Fister says: Jun 10, 2010 11:11 AM

    He’s a much better back than Reggie Bush. He can run and catch but because he doesn’t flip 10 yards into the end zone and get on ESPN, or hook up with reality show skanks, it’s assumed that he’s backup quality.
    You can’t pay him huge money, but they can’t lowball him either. Hope they will work something out.

  28. vikesfan4 says: Jun 10, 2010 11:16 AM

    Didnt know the Saints used running backs.

  29. Boudin says: Jun 10, 2010 11:24 AM

    BRUTUS9448 says:
    June 10, 2010 10:37 AM
    reggie bush is a waste. cut him and pay thomas
    ————–
    says the guy that doesn’t realize that Reggie is the Saints’ leading scorer.
    i love PT but it looks like Marshawn Lynch will be wearing Black and Gold next year…

  30. RayDaMayor says: Jun 10, 2010 11:26 AM

    Anyone who thinks Payton “limited” PT’s TD output is a serious idiot.
    Do you actually think a coach in the heat of battle with a game on the line, not to mention the coach’s career, would limit a player from scoring to prevent a player from securing a better contract in the offseason?
    Idiots…please post elsewhere.
    If the shoe fits Roetlisberger’s Bitch Tits….wear them proud.

  31. irishsamurai says: Jun 10, 2010 11:27 AM

    pierre thomas is a very talented back,and i think the only reason the saints havent been giving him the ball more[when healthy] is for the reason they are arguing now,keep his carries down,dont let him score so much and they think they wont have to pay him,why else would bell get touches over him,same reason up in baltmore with ry rice and mcgahee,they want to keep rice’s production down a bit before his next contract comes up[to not pay him top back money]

  32. tacious says: Jun 10, 2010 11:29 AM

    @ aschwartz
    “I believe Pierre Thomas should get around 14-16 over 4 years.”
    Probably why you’re not a GM in the NFL… how is he worth $4mm a year?
    2008: 909 total yards, 12 TDs
    2009: 1095 total yards, 8 TDs
    That’s not $4mm / year numbers…

  33. Franchise says: Jun 10, 2010 11:29 AM

    The Saints will struggle without Pierre Thomas. Their offense is already very one sided, and with already losing Mike Bell, it gets worse.
    Its hard for me being a USC guy to say Reggie isnt “The Guy”, but truth be told, he isnt. He is a very good RB in a 2 back system.
    That said, Lynell Hamilton, PJ Hill, and Cristian Ducre arent going to cut it.

  34. Boudin says: Jun 10, 2010 11:32 AM

    vikesfan4 says:
    June 10, 2010 11:16 AM
    Didnt know the Saints used running backs.
    ——————————————
    typical Vikings fan. Saints ranked six in rushing yards. New Orleans is more of a running team than Minnesota. but don’t take my word for it… look up the numbers for yourself.

  35. Kay Bee says: Jun 10, 2010 11:33 AM

    vikesfan4 says:
    June 10, 2010 11:16 AM
    Didnt know the Saints used running backs.
    ———————————————————
    You should…2 of them scored in the NFC Championship game.

  36. Kay Bee says: Jun 10, 2010 11:43 AM

    Franchise says:
    June 10, 2010 11:29 AM
    The Saints will struggle without Pierre Thomas. Their offense is already very one sided, and with already losing Mike Bell, it gets worse.
    ————————————————————–
    Top 10 in rushing and passing in 2009. How is that one-sided?

  37. DasBoot504 says: Jun 10, 2010 11:46 AM

    SuperBowl 4th and 1 from the goal line……stuff. Sign your tender….go UFA next season.

  38. salmen76 says: Jun 10, 2010 12:04 PM

    Bye Bye Pierre. For 2 reasons. Lynell Hamilton and P.J. Hill. I watched every carry you ever had for the Saints and some were good, but, alot were NOT. The infamous 1st down in the Championship game. Pierre not only didn’t get the 1st down he also fumbled. In his defense i didn’t like the call on that play anyway. It only worked cuz the ref gave us one on that one…..and he can’t stay healthy for a full sason. I see this as a perfect example that this is not our old loser Saints. This is the new world championship Saints. They are not gonna give any player anything they don’t want to cuz we have something now we’ve never had, “Quality Depth” on our entire roster. Bye Bye Pierre. We’ll get it done without cha.

  39. sasquash69 says: Jun 10, 2010 12:28 PM

    Wow they keep the overrated Bush for 8 million a year and don’t want to pay there best rb. The good move would have been to cut Bush and pay P.Thomas say 4-5 million a year. It doesn’t matter anyhow the Saints won’t even make the playoffs this season. No way that defense shows up again.

  40. BigEarl504 says: Jun 10, 2010 12:49 PM

    Mickey Loomis has always made genius moves with players and their salaries. Eventhough it seems like a bad bargaining stance, let’s give the defending champion GM the benefit of the doubt. Everyone said that the offers to Sharper and Vilma would be to low to keep them in Black and Gold…..
    Loomis knows more about the biz than we do. Sit back, relax and let the man do his job (if you want another championship)

  41. Dewey Axewoond says: Jun 10, 2010 12:55 PM

    vikesfan4 says:
    June 10, 2010 11:16 AM
    Didnt know the Saints used running backs.
    ______________________________
    Yeah, they’re those guys that DON’T fumble 5 times in a Conference Championship game.

  42. Kay Bee says: Jun 10, 2010 1:09 PM

    sasquash69 says:
    June 10, 2010 12:28 PM
    Wow they keep the overrated Bush for 8 million a year and don’t want to pay there best rb. The good move would have been to cut Bush and pay P.Thomas say 4-5 million a year. It doesn’t matter anyhow the Saints won’t even make the playoffs this season. No way that defense shows up again.
    ——————————————————-
    Yeah, no way the defense with a few more free agents and another year in Greg Williams’ system will show up again. Sure.

  43. Bious says: Jun 10, 2010 5:13 PM

    The Saints will get a deal with him done
    He deserves money but nowhere near Top RB money.
    He has produced nicely though in big games and deserves a nice, upper-tier salary

  44. covercorner7 says: Jun 11, 2010 1:51 PM

    This is ridiculous. Pay the man.

  45. clintcooper says: Jun 12, 2010 11:11 AM

    vikesfan4 you are a clueless moron. The Saints had the 6th ranked rushing offense last year in terms of total yardage. Look it up.
    In any case, I’m starting to become very miffed with the Saints. First the Vicodin story, then the ongoing Starcaps story, then the horrible Reggie Bush/USC story, now this. The offseason has been quite lame for my team. The home opener can’t come soon enough.

  46. the 9th plague says: Jun 12, 2010 8:47 PM

    “Hahahahahaha
    Discord in the Big Easy. Hey Who Dat Nation, you’re one hit wonders.” (notice i corrected your sorry a$$ grammar..)
    @ least we HIT something..

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