Report: Michael Thomas Seeking $20M Per Year on Saints Contract Extension

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2019

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) runs a drill at their NFL football training facility in Metairie, La., Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The New Orleans Saints have offered wide receiver Michael Thomas a contract extension that would average between $18 million and $19 million annually, according to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson.

Robinson reported Thomas is hopeful of earning $20 million a year.

Absent a new deal, the two-time Pro Bowler is set to be a free agent after the 2019 season.

Odell Beckham Jr. ($18 million) is the highest-paid receiver in terms of average salary, per Spotrac, so Thomas is poised to possibly reset the market for elite pass-catchers.

Julio Jones might beat him to the punch, though. ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported Monday on SportsCenter that an extension for Jones is likely "imminent" and that his new contract with the Atlanta Falcons could hit the $20 million mark per year.

Robinson noted how the implications of Jones' and Thomas' next contracts will be far-reaching:

Whatever the final terms, the Saints have every reason to make Thomas one of the best compensated at his position. Over the last three seasons, he leads all players in receptions (321) and is fifth in receiving yards (3,787), according to Pro Football Reference.

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Football Outsiders ranked Thomas third in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) among receivers with at least 50 targets in 2018. Any lingering doubt about his standing as an elite pass-catcher is gone.

ESPN's Dianna Russini reported in June the involved parties were looking to resolve Thomas' situation by the start of training camp. The Saints' camp officially opens Friday, leaving the team with a few more days to iron out the final details.

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