Michael Thomas Wins 2019 NFL Offensive Player of the Year over Lamar Jackson

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 1, 2020

NFC wide receiver Michael Thomas, of the New Orleans Saints, walks out onto the field before the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the AFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)
Steve Luciano/Associated Press

A historic season for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas has resulted in him being named the 2019 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. 

Thomas beat out candidates such as Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey and Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry.

Thomas is the first wide receiver to be named Offensive Player of the Year since Jerry Rice in 1993. 

Before the start of last season, Thomas made history when he became the first non-quarterback offensive player to sign a contract worth up to $100 million. The 26-year-old received that deal after recording at least 92 receptions, 1,137 yards and five touchdowns in each of his first three years. 

The 2019 campaign saw Thomas continue his evolution into an unstoppable playmaker on the outside for Saints quarterback Drew Brees. He set an NFL record with 149 receptions, and his 1,725 yards were the seventh-most in a single season in league history.

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Thomas is also an efficient playmaker who has caught at least 80 percent of his targets in each of the past two seasons. The 26-year-old had a stretch of eight 100-yard games over nine weeks from Oct. 20 to Dec. 22.

In a year full of memorable offensive performances, Thomas' week-to-week consistency at a position dependent on the quarterback was a clear standout and worthy of being honored as the best of the year.