Michael Thomas will reportedly hold out of camp in attempt to become NFL's first $20M-per-year receiver
The Saints are reportedly offering around $18 or $19 million per season
The New Orleans Saints will begin training camp without the services of one of their best players. According to multiple reports, wide receiver Michael Thomas will not report to camp on time as he attempts to leverage his way into a contract extension.
Per Yahoo!'s Charles Robinson, Thomas is looking to become the first wide receiver in NFL history to sign a contract that carries an average annual value of $20 million per year, while the Saints have been offering a deal averaging between $18 and $19 million per season.
A second-round pick out of Ohio State, Thomas has been spectacular through his first three NFL seasons, posting lines of 92-1,137-9 in 2017, 104-1,245-5 in 2018, and 125-1,405-9 in 2018. His 125 catches last season led the NFL, and his 85 percent catch rate was the single best catch rate among the 247 player-seasons since 1992 where a player was targeted at least 145 times -- and it was not particularly close. (The next-closest was Wes Welker's 77.2 percent catch rate in 2007.) He has quickly become Drew Brees' most trusted target and one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.
Holding out for the largest wide receiver contract in the league makes sense from Thomas' perspective, as he has been extremely underpaid so far in his career. At the moment, Odell Beckham Jr.'s, five-year, $90 million deal that averages $18 million per season and contained $65 million in practical guarantees is the top deal at the position. Given that it's been a year since Beckham signed and the cap has gone up once again, Thomas seems justified in looking to reset the market. What remains to be seen is whether the Saints are willing to meet his price.
Pick Six Newsletter
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The NFL lineman is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason
Yes, we'll get two more playoff games each year, but at what cost?
We now know a few changes that are likely on the way if a new collective bargaining agreement...
This duo probably exists in a galaxy far, far away
A minor groin injury kept Aiyuk out of the Senior Bowl
Brees will join Tom Brady as the second QB to play 20-plus seasons with two or fewer franchises
Kansas City won its first Super Bowl in 50 years as San Francisco struggled to maintain a late...
A Vince Lombardi Trophy is heading to Kansas City
Live scores, highlights and updates from the Jaguars vs. Colts football game