Are Saints hoping to get offers for Michael Thomas?

Getty Images

As the trade deadline approaches — and as the COVID-19 protocol as a practical matter accelerates the closing of the window for teams that hope to have new players ready to go for Week Nine — there’s an unlikely name to watch: Michael Thomas.

Some in league circles believe that the Saints could be willing to move him, and/or that Thomas could be interested in moving.

Two weeks ago, Thomas punched a teammate during practice. The Saints suspended him without really suspending him, fining him the amount of a game check and not putting him on the active roster for a Monday night game against the Chargers. Now, Thomas has a hamstring injury to go along with the high ankle sprain that he suffered six weeks ago tomorrow.

Only Thomas and the Saints know whether he could actually play on Sunday, or whether he’s simply being parked to preserve potential trade value. Only Thomas (and his agents) and the Saints know whether the two sides are thinking about going their separate ways and hoping that someone will call the Saints and initiate discussions aimed at making it happen.

Regardless, the Saints don’t have accidents. Everything that has been reported about Thomas in recent weeks most likely has been leaked. And while it’s yet to be reported that the Saints are shopping Thomas (then again, another round of Sunday Splash! reports is just a day away), the strategy on this one may be to see whether anyone makes an offer the Saints won’t refuse.

Yes, trading Thomas would result in a $20 million cap charge for the Saints in 2021. It also would avoid $12.6 million in salary for Thomas, dropping the net cap cost to $7.4 million. Given that they’re already looking at a $22.65 million reckoning for quarterback Drew Brees if/when Brees retires after the current season, the Saints could end up carrying $42.65 million in cap charges for two guys who are no longer on the team, in a year that may have a total cap of only $175 million.

That doesn’t make a Thomas trade impossible. It simply raises the bar as to what it would take for the Saints to regard an offer for Thomas as one they wouldn’t refuse. Indeed, the best way to navigate dead money is to load up on draft picks with low cap charges, thanks to the rookie wage scale.

Two weeks ago, the Saints sent a crystal clear message to Thomas, and to the rest of the league. Thomas is on thin ice in New Orleans. Regardless of whether he doesn’t crash through it, the dispute that the Saints allowed to become public operates as an invitation to bid on Thomas, without the Saints losing leverage by actively soliciting bids.

If no one makes an offer that gets the Saints to pull the trigger, the team and Thomas will have the rest of the season to determine whether they can coexist. If that offer comes from a contender for whom Thomas would like to play, it makes sense to monitor the situation.

47 responses to “Are Saints hoping to get offers for Michael Thomas?

  1. Package him and Jenkins for cap space. That would be a fair deal at this point. Or maybe the Saints could also throw in a 7th round pick to even the deal.

  2. What a shame. While the Saints aren’t my favorite team, they rank pretty high for me. I hate to see this team implode but it’s looking like that is exactly what is happening.

  3. Drew Brees might as well retire, if Michael Thomas gets traded. His stats are just not the same without him.

  4. Man, what is it with wide receivers? Seems like one day best receivers if not best players on the team and the next are in the doghouse of their own doing. Shame is the Saints are a really good team and could be surely Super Bowl contenders with him.

  5. For it to come to this, there has to be a long chain of events and lots of “episodes” that everyone have been totally unaware of. The whole iceberg theory. You see the top, but 90% is underwater blah blah. He doesn’t have no hamstring injury either, buys the Saints time to shop him. Hell they prob don’t even want him around the team. This is all really interesting. He is just coming off a yr in which he had 149 catches and the Saints hate his guts. That is clear as day

  6. Only way I can see that happening is if they’re going to start Jameis and if Sean Peyton retires because not only is Drew Brees not the same without MT (which is the same for a lot of QBs without a top WR talent) but Sean Peyton’s play calling has not been good at all for a while.

  7. Tampa Bay paid Keyshawn Johnson to stay away from the team. It sounds like the Saints are getting close to that with Michael Thomas. He has $60M in salary due from 2021-2024. That’s if he doesn’t demand his contract to be renegotiated. I doubt if they trade him they’d get much for him.

    I’m not sure what’s going on with Thomas. I don’t think anything like this was happening last year but you never know….maybe it was and Peyton decided to put up with it (much like the Steelers did with AB). Maybe they’re tired of it and punching his teammate was the last straw. Maybe his teammates are fed up with him too. If Michael Thomas isn’t careful he may turn into AB 2.0.

  8. This hamstring “issue” has really clouded the picture, but seems all the trade talk is purely speculation at this time, although oftentimes where there’s smoke there’s fire. Need to remember movie quote – it’s business, not personal.

  9. xlivsaints says:

    October 24, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Package him and Jenkins for cap space. That would be a fair deal at this point. Or maybe the Saints could also throw in a 7th round pick to even the deal
    ——-
    Did you not read the article? Trading Thomas wont create cap space and by adding Jenkins it would be an additional 7.2 million in dead cap next yr. So by your genius proposal they would then have 50 million in dead cap space next yr as well as also giving away a draft pick which is where you get your low cost players.

  10. At least AB gave him the playbook on this. Keep your mouth shut and don’t argue with the moving guys.

  11. orivar says:

    October 24, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Only way I can see that happening is if they’re going to start Jameis and if Sean Peyton retires because not only is Drew Brees not the same without MT (which is the same for a lot of QBs without a top WR talent) but Sean Peyton’s play calling has not been good at all for a while.

    ——-
    1st off its Payton. 2nd so your idea is since Brees isnt as good without Thomas they would start Winston who’s worse than Brees period. Well that just sounds smart

  12. This is not a surprise at all, Michael Thomas twitter history shows that he’s all about his self and he will whine and complain about everything.

  13. He should just go the Bucs too. This is worse than the Yankees trying to buy world series year in and year out. How did Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton work out for the bombers this year? Just like when the Donkeys bought Peyton Manning and their latest SB and Elway is still living off of his “incredible” GM skills, LMFAO. It was classic to them get pummeled by Seaderall in that SB with Peyton wearing a neck brace, using a walker and tossing insults to wobbly ducks everywhere in the guise of NFL caliber passes.

    What will Brady and Arians do when they don’t win the SB? Can’t wait to watch this train careen off of the oncoming bridge.

    Do Mike Evans a favor and trade him to a good team, since Prince Tom doesn’t want to play nicely in the sandbox with him

  14. The Eagles would overpay for Thomas. I’m thinking they’d give a 1st and 2002 4th.

    Bowie Roseman HATES draft picks, they expose his lack of ability to scout so anytime he can get rid of them it’s a bonus for him.

    I’d don’t know that they could swing his contract though.

    Miami might have some interest too but that salary isn’t doable plus Miami isn’t going to give NO value. I suspect Miami would offer a 2 and a 5 but the contact would be a hold up. Parker is already a steal at $11 million so they are probably better off using those picks on cheaper rookies.

  15. It seems a bit unlikely that MT is becoming AB 2.0. That’s awfully difficult for anyone to pull off. More likely, it seems to me, that he’s unwittingly setting himself up as Jimmy Graham 2.0. Graham was all world playing with Brees in Payton’s system, but after he got his big contract he suddenly had alligator arms, tiptoed across the middle, and groused his way out of town. He’s basically done nothing since then. While Brees’ numbers might be better with MT in the lineup, MT’s numbers are zero when he’s out of the lineup, and likely never regain last year’s all world numbers in some other system with some lesser QB. I hope he and the Saints figure this out and fix it.

  16. No wonder this guy wasn’t a first round pick. I wish the media would report the details behind guys with issues leading up to the draft, instead of hiding behind the cliche “character concerns”.

  17. “The Eagles would overpay for Thomas. I’m thinking they’d give a 1st and 2002 4th.

    Bowie Roseman HATES draft picks, they expose his lack of ability to scout so anytime he can get rid of them it’s a bonus for him.

    I’d don’t know that they could swing his contract though.”

    Your last point is the one that matters. As it stands now the Eagles are 40 million over the cap next year, in a year where the cap may drop. I don’t know what MT makes, but if it’s more than “free” they can’t afford him.

  18. Eagles?? Seriously???

    Their 2021 salary cap is currently at $265 mil for the top 51. The cap is probably $175.
    They couldn’t afford bus fare for MT.

  19. jameshodges says:
    October 24, 2020 at 11:41 am
    Drew Brees might as well retire, if Michael Thomas gets traded

    ——————

    Shannon Sharpe, is that you?

  20. I don’t think New Orleans is as worried about what they get for him as much as they are in finding a suitable trade partner that will take on some of the contract money. The uncertainty of next year’s team salary cap makes it a big risk for any team.

  21. Man, they get their $$$$$$ and all of a sudden these athletes think they own the place. BTW..if you didn’t sign this offers THIS year,they ain’t coming back. Sorry, Ertz, Dak.

  22. This has Browns written all over it! Mayfield can throw his 3-5 yard passes and he can take his diva act there for a 5-7 win season

  23. I’m not defending the guy, but fining him a game check for punching a teammate (these thing do happen) seems pretty severe. There must be more to the story.

  24. He must be an incredibly terrible person if the Saints want this guy out . A guy that makes Suh look like a teddy bear and Norman a team player .

    You all want him in your team colors now but wait until the unrest starts .. it’s crazy the amount of wide receivers divas who are great but pout and cry their way out of the league

  25. “Whatever happened to Ocho Cinco anyway?”

    Ocho Stinko? He went to the Pats and was unable to learn the playbook. Brady and others were still having to tell him where to line up 12 games into the season and he was pretty much benched at the end

    Not sure he might have gone to another team for 1 or 2 years after that but never did anything worthy of mention after he left Cincy

  26. Michael Thomas. Antonio Brown. Deandre Hopkins.

    Three extraordinarily productive number one receivers on the other side of the wall in their relationship to the team.

    Interesting. I expect this is a reconciliation about the cost/benefit of these stars … not their unique demeanor .. business .. GMs recognizing that they overpaid for number one WRs in the market environment of the last five years.

  27. troy43mvp says:
    October 24, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    I don’t think New Orleans is as worried about what they get for him as much as they are in finding a suitable trade partner that will take on some of the contract money. The uncertainty of next year’s team salary cap makes it a big risk for any team.
    _________________________________________________

    Are you serious? The Saints could trade him in a heartbeat if they wanted to just get rid of him. Just because a lot of teams will be pressed with the salary cap next year doesn’t mean every team is. The Jets have over $80 million in cap space next year. The Jaguars have over $70 million. If you don’t think either of them would trade a 6th round pick for possibly the best WR in the game today then you’re crazy.

  28. Suddenly the Saints Super Bowl window has closed. Michael Thomas will be dealt before next season, if not before the trade deadline, and Brees will retire.

    It’s rebuild time, and getting what they can for MT will give them a bit more draft capital to work with.

  29. To take on Thomas’ salary cap amount the Saints would have to throw in like a 2nd & maybe a 5th round pick or instead of the picks they’d have to kick back like $50-$75m AND… whoever is willing to take on his attitude and cap amount has to have AVAILABLE cap space in a year when the cap is expected to DECREASE by $25-40m. Good luck finding those type combinations of circumstances.

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.