The last time the New Orleans Saints restructured their contract with Michael Thomas, it seemed to tee up an early release that would send Thomas off to continue his career elsewhere. But the news surrounding Derek Carr might introduce a change of plans. The Saints can always circle back to their contract with Thomas, renegotiate things, and run it back with him in 2023. Of course the first step is acquiring the former Las Vegas Raiders quarterback, possibly by a trade.
Adding an established passer - like Carr - could have real appeal to Thomas as he works to get his body right and reestablish himself as one of the league's best wide receivers. Davante Adams just led the league in touchdown catches (14) while totaling 100 receptions for 1,516 yards with Carr as his quarterback. Thomas could very well be looking at him as someone who can revive his career.
That's the main selling-point New Orleans can offer Thomas, but there are other factors at work. He wouldn't have to relocate and pick up a new offense in another NFL city. He likes his coaches and the new Saints training staff the team brought in last summer. There aren't many players who have spent their entire career with just one team, and that might matter to him, too.
But it comes down to money. Thomas can't play on his contract as it is currently written. If nothing changes and he suits up for the Saints in the fall, he'll trigger a whopping $60 million cap hit in 2024 by dressing out for at least four games. The Saints will need to meet with him and his agent and hash out a new arrangement. A pay cut would have to be discussed, and the likeliest scenario is that his current contract gets ripped up, processed, and redone altogether. A one-year deal featuring heavy incentives could make sense and set up Thomas to cash in next offseason if all goes according to plan.
It would be an unexpected twist to his story with the Saints, but stranger things have happened. Thomas commented in a since-deleted tweet on Tuesday evening that he's keeping receipts on everyone speculating about his future in the NFL, advising them to "stay tuned" about his next move:
Maybe this means something, maybe it doesn't. We're entering the busiest months of the Saints offseason and cryptic tweets like this one are all the rage. We're all just along for the ride. The only thing certain is that the road ahead of us it uncertain. It feels unlikely that Thomas plays for New Orleans in 2023, but we can't rule it out, especially if the Saints get their quarterback.
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Story originally appeared on Saints Wire