Michael Thomas Trade Rumors: 'Some' in NFL Circles Believe Saints Could Move WR

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 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

There is reportedly a feeling from some around the NFL that the New Orleans Saints could be willing to trade star wide receiver Michael Thomas before the Week 8 deadline.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported Saturday that "some in league circles believe" the Saints, Thomas or both could be tempted to move on. Thomas has not played since Week 1 because of a combination of injuries and a suspension for punching a teammate in practice.

Saints coach Sean Payton denied the report in a tweet:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Sean Payton responds to Michael Thomas trade rumors. @brgridiron (h/t @ByLukeJohnson) https://t.co/2HmBMrC0ZE

The Saints would take a $20 million dead cap charge in 2021 for trading Thomas during the regular season, which could give them a total of $42.7 million in dead cap if Drew Brees retires as expected.

A roster rebuild/retooling is not out of the question, but it's more likely to begin in the 2021 offseason. The Saints likely still envision themselves as a Super Bowl contender and have overcome inconsistency and Thomas' absence to get off to a 3-2 start. This is not the same juggernaut that ran away with the last three NFC South titles, but New Orleans looks like a strong playoff bet—especially in the seven-team format.

There is no logical reason to move on right now, unless the situation behind the scenes has soured to the point of no return.

A more likely scenario would see the Saints shop Thomas during the offseason, when they could fetch multiple high draft picks and would not ruin a chance for one last Super Bowl with Brees at the helm.

Still just 27 years old, though, Thomas is young enough to be part of the Saints' present and future while remaining one off the game's top targets. It should take a king's ransom to get him out of New Orleans.