Report: Michael Thomas, Saints 'Far Apart' but Motivated in New Contract Talks

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 19, 2019

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) celebrates a run against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half of an NFL divisional playoff football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
Bill Feig/Associated Press

While the New Orleans Saints and receiver Michael Thomas hope to complete an extension to keep him on the roster for the long haul, Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune reported Wednesday that "nothing is imminent."

"The sides remain far apart, but both are motivated to get a deal done, hopefully by the start of training camp," Duncan said.

Thomas is heading into the final year of his rookie contract and has just a $1.6 million cap hit for 2019, per Spotrac.

The Saints apparently aren't too concerned about paying a hefty price to keep Thomas on the roster. Dianna Russini of ESPN reported Tuesday the "Saints are comfortable making him the highest-paid receiver in the game."

Thomas could surpass the five-year, $90 million contract Odell Beckham Jr. signed with the New York Giants in 2018 before being traded to the Cleveland Browns in March. He could also focus on guaranteed money like Antonio Brown, who will earn at least $30 million in guarantees in his new three-year contract, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Based on his play, Thomas deserves to be paid among the best in the game at his position.

The 26-year-old was named a first-team All-Pro last season after finishing with 1,405 receiving yards, nine touchdowns and a league-best 125 catches. He was a major reason the Saints reached the NFC Championship Game, totaling 12 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round.

New Orleans won't want to let him hit free agency after he's shown what he can do in his first three years in the NFL.