Do the Saints have a Michael Thomas problem?

Getty Images

The Saints currently have more than a few problems. Among the various problems, they have a Michael Thomas problem, unrelated to his problematic ankle.

Jeff Duncan of TheAthletic.com recently addressed issues stretching far beyond the fight with safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson that resulted in a one-game suspension.

Duncan reports that the suspension “had less to do” with the fight than it did his conduct after the fight. He reportedly “talked back” to coaches (including the head coach) and “obstinately refused counsel” after the incident. It was the insubordination demonstrated by Thomas that resulted in his suspension for conduct detrimental to the team.

Duncan explains that the Saints were sending Thomas a message, based on a growing reputation for being “difficult.” He “too often” has “crossed the line,” per Duncan, barking at trainers for failing to properly tape his ankle, accusing a staff member of going through his mail, and generally demonstrating an “unpredictable, aloof personality” that has alienated the team’s P.R. staff.

At one point, coach Sean Payton had to address the situation directly with Thomas during training camp.

“What makes him great is also what makes him difficult,” a source close to Thomas told Duncan. “Michael can be his own worst enemy at times.”

For now, it should be no surprise to Thomas that he has cost himself a game check. With a base salary of $1 million this year, that’s only $58,823. Here’s the other far more problematic wrinkle: The suspension  jeopardizes his remaining guarantees, amounting to $12.6 million in 2021 and $15.35 million in 2022.

Per the language of the contract, a copy of which PFT has obtained, the suspension makes those guarantees “null and void.” That would leave Thomas without the full financial security that comes from his long-term contract, and it would allow the Saints to easily move on from him after either of the next two seasons if his performance dips, if he can’t stay healthy, or if they simply decide they’ve had enough.

UPDATE 12:50 p.m. ET: Contract to multiple reports, Thomas was not suspended. He was fined. This takes the voiding of guarantees out of the play. For now. Further problems could result in a suspension, and an attack on the remaining guarantees.

35 responses to “Do the Saints have a Michael Thomas problem?

  1. They may as well just go ahead & go all in by bringing in Antonio Brown then if they’re going to keep Thomas

  2. Why as fans do we see a great WR all of sudden turn into a problem child? Is it that saying, you REALLY never know what’s going in peoples houses?

  3. I would not be surprised if they traded Thomas. One guy never will make a team, and a talented player demanding things like targets or preferential treatment is the opposite of what a team wants. Zero superbowls for guys like Owens, Moss, Smith, Marshall, etc.

  4. Michael Thomas:

    Pre-contract: Julio Jones
    Post-contract: Antonio Brown (the one that calls the GM a cracker)

  5. Hmmm…Let me think, he reminds me of someone…it’s right on the tip of my tongue…LOL

    I’m shocked, another self absorbed athlete that thinks the world revolves around them.

  6. “What is it with WRs being Diva’s?”
    __________

    The conduct of a very few WRs does not justify criticizing all of them. Has anyone ever seen Davante Adams behave like a diva? DeAndre Hopkins? Tyreek Hill? Cooper Kupp? Keenon Allen?

  7. “I would not be surprised if they traded Thomas. ”
    __________

    With his contract would they have any takers? That’s huge money to a guy who might instantly pose problems. It’d be one thing if he was a free agent where you could take a shot on him on the cheap but he just signed that gigantic deal.

  8. I love Michael but was he acting like that before he signed huge contract if he was it’s Mickey and Sean fault.

  9. wow – seems the team knows what they did with the suspension w/r/t to $$$$

    Got a lot of guys commenting here who obviously think staring at a teevee makes them smart about football without ever playing a down.

    News flash: fights happen in practice. Short of him pulling a Westbrook and tooling up his teammate sans helmet – a suspension seems very heavy-handed UNLESS they considered the guarantees and saw this as an easy way to void said guarantees.

    And for the Jamokes saying they should cut him – just look at how awful Brees is without him. Brees looks absolutely washed without Thomas,

  10. gibson45 says:

    October 14, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    “What is it with WRs being Diva’s?”
    __________

    The conduct of a very few WRs does not justify criticizing all of them. Has anyone ever seen Davante Adams behave like a diva? DeAndre Hopkins? Tyreek Hill? Cooper Kupp? Keenon Allen?
    ———
    Well 1st off the OP never said all WR, you did. 2nd yes a case can be made Hopkins acted like a diva when wanting his new contract, Adams when he posted just this last weekend sarcastically saying how apparently others know his body better than he does. 3rd for every Kupp theres a DeSean Jackson type

  11. We’ll take your Michael Thomas and raise you Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson.
    Talk to me when you have real problems.

    Signed- every eagles fan

  12. I can understand Michael Thomas being angry and refusing to cooperate while he was angry. The only thing that bothers me about this whole story is the mistreatment of a guy taping his ankles. That’s a sign of a behavior problem. I don’t have any problem getting in the top guy’s face, but leave the little guys alone. That’s just a bully mentality. I can’t picture Larry Fitzgerald treating the staff poorly.

  13. Brees looks absolutely washed without Thomas

    ————————————————–

    Brees has a passer rating of 102.7, is averaging 266 passing yards per game and the Saints are averaging 30.6 ppg this season. Next

  14. If Michael Thomas is getting advice from his uncle Keyshawn Johnson, then, yes… they have a problem.

  15. For all the comparisons to Mr Big Chest, remember he was not a problem publicly until he left the team. Saints doing their own thing, i’m sure it is just putting fuel on the fire

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.