Michael Thomas has reached settlement with the New Orleans Saints on a five-year, $100 million extension that features $61 million assured and makes him the NFL’s highest-paid broad receiver, league sources informed ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.
Thomas is now tied to the Saints for the subsequent six years, by way of the 2024 season.
Thomas is ready to make $1.148 million this season within the ultimate 12 months of his rookie contract. He didn’t report for the beginning of Saints coaching camp as he sought a brand new deal.
Thomas was one among a number of high-profile gamers holding out from coaching camp, together with Los Angeles Chargers and Dallas Cowboys operating backs Melvin Gordon and Ezekiel Elliott, Washington Redskins offensive sort out Trent Williams and Jacksonville Jaguars defensive finish Yannick Ngakoue.
Ngakoue observed information of Thomas’ deal and tweeted “effectively deserved.”
Thomas might change into the primary in a really costly set of dominoes to fall, with fellow high receivers like Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, A.J. Inexperienced and Tyreek Hill additionally looking for extensions. There was some sense that none of these receivers needed to signal first, so the others might increase the bar for them. However nobody stood to realize greater than the 26-year-old Thomas.
Teammate Cameron Jordan tweeted congratulations to Thomas on Wednesday.
— cameron jordan (@camjordan94) July 31, 2019
Thomas’ deal marks a 1,700% pay increase for the first-team All-Professional, whose 321 profession catches are by far essentially the most in NFL historical past by a participant in his first three seasons. Odell Beckham Jr., who signed with the Giants for round $18 million per 12 months final season earlier than being traded to the Browns, ranks second on that checklist at 288.
The Saints have by no means paid a skill-position participant greater than $10 million per 12 months, which was the scale of tight finish Jimmy Graham’s extension earlier than he was traded away in 2015. However Thomas, who was drafted within the second spherical out of Ohio State in 2016, has performed an even bigger position in New Orleans’ offense than any skill-position participant to return earlier than him within the Payton-Drew Brees period.
Final season, Thomas set franchise information with 125 catches and 1,405 yards whereas catching 9 landing passes. His catch charge of 84.5% in 2018 was the very best of any NFL receiver since at the least 2001, in keeping with ESPN Stats & Data.
No different receiver had greater than 28 catches for the Saints final season, and their lack of dependable targets behind Thomas and operating again Alvin Kamara actually harm them down the stretch. They signed tight finish Jared Prepare dinner in free company to assist with that depth subject.
As standard, the Saints should get artistic with their bookkeeping to suit Thomas below the wage cap and to maintain their loaded roster collectively in future years. That they had about $12 million in cap area earlier than Thomas’ new deal, after additionally they signed All-Professional defensive finish Cameron Jordan to a profitable contract extension earlier this offseason.
The Saints have already got greater than $26 million in “lifeless cash” scheduled to rely towards their wage cap in 2020 due to the best way they’ve structured Brees’ contract. Subsequent 12 months, Brees, backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and guard Andrus Peat are scheduled to be free brokers, amongst others. Then Kamara, guard Larry Warford and linebacker Demario Davis come due in 2021, adopted by cornerback Marshon Lattimore and offensive tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk in 2022.
Data from ESPN’s Mike Triplett was used on this report.