Report: Michael Thomas, Saints Agree to Record 5-Year, $100M Contract

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 31, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional Playoff at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints and wide receiver Michael Thomas reportedly agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract extension Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.  

The deal makes Thomas the highest-paid wide receiver ever and the first non-quarterback offensive player to receive a $100 million pact, per Rapoport. The reporter added Thomas' contract contains $61 million in guaranteed money.

The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the NFL's most potent offensive weapons. He's amassed 321 catches for 3,787 yards and 23 touchdowns over his first three seasons for New Orleans, which drafted the ex-Ohio State Buckeye 47th overall in 2016. His 125 receptions led the NFL in 2018.

More importantly, Thomas is arguably the game's most efficient pass-catcher. He caught 85.0 percent of passes thrown his way in 2018, which was by far the best among his position group. No other wideout with at least 100 targets accumulated a catch rate better than 74 percent. Notably, he saw 147 targets—or more than nine per game.

The 6'3", 212-pound wideout has also formed an excellent partnership with quarterback Drew Brees, so the extension was a no-brainer with one season left on his four-year rookie deal. ESPN's Dianna Russini reported on June 18 that New Orleans was "comfortable making him the highest-paid receiver in the game."

Although Thomas is locked up, the Saints still have a few important questions to answer regarding their offensive personnel.

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The 40-year-old Brees, who showed no signs of slowing down en route to completing a career-high 74.4 percent of his passes last season, will be a free agent after 2019.

Third-year running back Alvin Kamara, who had 3,146 scrimmage yards and 31 touchdowns in his first two seasons, will be a free agent after 2020.

What isn't in question is the status of defensive end Cameron Jordan, who inked a three-year, $52.5 million extension in June.

He and Thomas are Saints for the near future, which looks bright with those two staying in black and gold into the 2020s.