New Orleans Saints

Saints, Michael Thomas reportedly far apart on contract

The New Orleans Saints recently signed Cameron Jordan to a contract extension and are focused on signing star wide receiver Michael Thomas through his prime, but there’s still work to be done when negotiating with the latter.

Michael Thomas has been one of the NFL’s best wide receivers since being drafted in the second round by the New Orleans Saints three years ago. Astoundingly, Thomas has never caught fewer than 90 passes in a season, and he’s coming off of his best campaign yet with a 125/1,405/9 line.

As such, the Saints have interest in signing Thomas to an extension, and ESPN’s Dianna Russini even reported yesterday that general manager Mickey Loomis and Co. are willing to make him the highest-paid wideout in the league.

However, Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Time-Picayune reports that both sides are “far apart” and no deal “is imminent” at this point in time. Duncan relays that “a lot of work” must take place between now and training camp for a deal to be done, but both sides sound interested in putting pen to paper.

Drew Brees has played with excellent pass-catchers throughout his career like wide receiver Marques Colston and tight end Jimmy Graham, but Thomas looks like his best weapon yet. He’s one of the league’s savviest route-runners despite only being 26, and he is a nightmare to stop after the catch with his bruising strength and toughness. Thomas’s trash-talking and love for the game are contagious, and his rapport with Brees nearly helped the Saints reach the Super Bowl last season.

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The Saints are clearly aiming to win another championship before Brees’s career officially wraps up, and Thomas is central to their efforts. Making him the highest-paid wide receiver may be the bare minimum to getting a deal done with the prolifically efficient playmaker, and it will be interesting to see exactly how much Thomas is hoping to earn from the Saints both in terms of annual value and fully guaranteed money.

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