Michael Thomas had 149 receptions in 2019. This year, Thomas has ONE. It’s been a much different ride for Thomas in 2020, who’s played in just one game. Nagging injuries and a fight with a teammate has kept Thomas out virtually all season. In a wild turn of events, Thomas might have played his final game with the Saints.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk suggested the Saints are willing to move on:
“Some in league circles believe that the Saints could be willing to move him, and/or that Thomas could be interested in moving.”
The cap charge is something that will likely prevent this from happening. Trading Thomas would result in a $20 million dead cap penalty for the Saints next year. They also have $22.65 million on the books for Drew Brees, even if he retires. It’s a lot of dead cap to eat.
However, trading Thomas would likely net a significant return. Sure, Thomas hasn’t played much this year, but he is arguably the best receiver in football. Forget about the DeAndre Hopkins trade because Bill O’Brien is a dummy. Stefon Diggs scored a first, fourth, fifth, and sixth-round pick. What could Thomas get back in a deal?
Who knows how the incident at practice sits with the Saints? Baltimore cut Earl Thomas after he punched a teammate in the face. New Orleans could easily view Thomas different now. Sort of a writing on the wall incident.
Trading a player like Michael Thomas would have been unthinkable. Now? It sounds like the Saints could easily trade him if the right offer becomes available. As the NFL trade deadline inches closer, it’s a story that is worth monitoring.