New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas has established himself as one of the elite players at the position, and it sounds like general manager Mickey Loomis is prepared to pay Thomas accordingly.
As a second-round rookie out of Ohio State, Michael Thomas immediately showed the football world that he is a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver in this league. Thomas led the high-powered New Orleans Saints offense with 92 receptions, turning his 121 targets into 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns. He bumped up to 104 receptions and 1,245 yards in 2017 before exploding for a 121/1,405/9 line in 2018.
So it isn’t a surprise to hear Saints general manager Mickey Loomis say that the team has been discussing an extension with Thomas this offseason.
"“We’ve had some conversations, and I like keeping that close to the vest until there’s something to report, but look, we love what Mike’s done for us. He’s a fantastic player, one of the best at his position in the league, and hopefully we can keep him a Saint for a long time as well.”"
Thomas had an insane 85% catch rate on 147 targets last season, and the elite route-runner is one of the NFL’s most consistent wide receivers. He’s likely the best offensive player Brees has played with in his career, and, as he showed the Los Angeles Rams, he’s capable of exploding for 200 receiving yards on any given Sunday.
The Saints should have reached the Super Bowl last season, and they are among the favorites to win the NFC in 2019. After extending star defensive lineman Cameron Jordan, the Saints are wise to focus on Thomas, who has been one of their most important players since entering the league three seasons ago. Just 26, Thomas is entering his best years and should remain in New Orleans throughout his prime.
Because Thomas played so well last season, the Saints would surely have to make him the league’s highest-paid player, barring any surprise discounts from him. Per ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Saints are willing to make Thomas the richest wideout in the league. Since no player has caught more passes than Thomas since he was drafted in 2016, it would be money well-spent for a team looking to win its second Super Bowl as Brees’s window slowly starts to close.