Michael Thomas rumors: Ranking seven potential landing spots if Saints look to trade disgruntled receiver

Michael Thomas is among the Saints‘ finest and most achieved gamers. However pressure has seemingly been rising between the 2 sides for the higher a part of a yr. An injury-riddled 2020 noticed Thomas suspended by the group, and the star huge receiver reportedly ignored calls from Saints officers for months after the season. Now, with coach Sean Payton publicly lamenting Thomas delaying an offseason surgical procedure that’ll keep him sidelined into the fall, the wideout has implied the Saints are trying to “damage” his reputation.

A yr after ProFootballTalk reported the Saints could also be prepared to commerce Thomas, there is no such thing as a indication the membership is actively seeking to half methods with its No. 1 go catcher. However a future cut up has additionally by no means appeared extra doable. New Orleans remains to be constructed to contend however has survived with out Thomas earlier than. The Saints are additionally kicking off a brand new period with a brand new quarterback and nonetheless clawing their means out of a wage cap gap; buying and selling Thomas would save them $1.2 million instantly, in addition to a whopping $74.7M from 2022-2024.

Potential suitors would clearly be betting on Thomas staying wholesome as soon as he returns from rehab, however his contract — a five-year, $96.3M extension signed in 2019 — should not be a hold-up, contemplating he is owed zero assured cash after 2021.

So which groups are potential locations within the occasion Thomas’ obvious Saints feud escalates to the purpose New Orleans fields provides for its disgruntled star? Listed here are seven of essentially the most possible:

Normal supervisor Howie Roseman has tried to distance himself from oft-injured veterans, and Thomas feels extra like a blockbuster addition for a group able to win now, however Philly now has $16 million in cap area and counting, just lately positioning itself for a large transfer. New coach Nick Sirianni is a WR coach by commerce, and what higher toy so as to add for brand new QB Jalen Hurts than a short-area security valve like Thomas, who might begin reverse rookie DeVonta Smith? Roseman, by no means one to shrink back from a headline-stealing commerce (and maybe desirous to make up for a missed swing for DeAndre Hopkins), might at all times get out of Thomas’ large deal in 2022, too.

GM Joe Douglas is extra prone to promote than purchase, however he is performed loads of the previous whereas additionally investing within the trenches for brand new QB Zach Wilson. He is additionally acquired practically $20M at his disposal. With 2020 second-rounder Denzel Mims buried on the depth chart and reportedly out there through commerce, what higher approach to enhance Wilson’s possibilities of success than by including a premier counterpart for brand new starter Corey Davis? Just like the Eagles, the Jets might justify this as a possible long-term transfer, with the choice to chop the wire early.

Are you able to think about? We are able to, as a result of by some means the Chiefs constantly discover methods to stay video-game dominant. A little bit wage cap maneuvering can be so as, nevertheless it’s not like Kansas Metropolis could not discover a spot for him, even when only for one yr: Tyreek Hill can play inside and outdoors, and whereas Mecole Hardman has flashed, Andy Reid’s offense might nonetheless use a extra confirmed exterior goal.

New England simply acquired performed spending a mixed $124.5 million on new go catchers Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. However why cease there? None of these guys come near Thomas as a No. 1 goal, and the Pats are clearly intent on competing this yr. It helps they play within the AFC, so the Saints might maintain Thomas out of sight, and at 28, Thomas is younger sufficient to function a operating mate for Mac Jones.

They’d want to maneuver some cash round to make it work, however they have been sniffing round veteran receivers all offseason in hopes of serving to out QB Lamar Jackson. Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins could very effectively assist the aerial sport alongside Marquise Brown, however Thomas can be essentially the most pure goal for Jackson, particularly in a run-heavy, short-area passing assault. Baltimore is clearly additionally solely centered on profitable now, they usually reside comfortably exterior of the NFC.

Los Angeles is all in on second-year QB Justin Herbert, making large investments to guard the gunslinger this offseason. Giving Herbert one other bona fide stud out huge would speed up the Chargers’ hunt to not solely make noise within the AFC West however compete for a title. With $17.3M in cap area, they can’t solely afford Thomas however promise him a return to his residence state of California, a greater QB scenario than in New Orleans, and a spot in an already-potent WR corps that includes Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

Jacksonville spent a ton on largely middling free brokers this spring, however the group nonetheless has greater than sufficient cap area (an NFL-best $30M) to be daring. They’re out of the NFC, which might put the Saints extra comfortable. They want any true weapons for Trevor Lawrence they will get, even with D.J. Chark established as a beginning WR. And better of all, their new coach simply occurs to be City Meyer, who oversaw Thomas’ rising stardom at Ohio State and drew an eyebrow-raising endorsement from Thomas this yr.

Honorable point out

  • Dolphins: They’d want to maneuver some cash round, they usually’ve already made two large additions in Jaylen Waddle and Will Fuller, however Thomas can be a pure goal for brand new full-time beginning QB Tua Tagovailoa.
  • 49ers: San Francisco might arguably nonetheless use another big-time go catcher and has sniffed round veteran additions for years. However the Niners are additionally within the NFC and have already expended lots of draft capital for current strikes at QB and OT.
  • Raiders: They do not have the cash to do it now, however they’ve tried the veteran commerce route earlier than, they usually could be determined to make a splash with time ticking on the Jon Gruden-Mike Mayock regime. Senior offensive assistant John Morton additionally served as Thomas’ WRs coach again in 2016.

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/information/michael-thomas-rumors-ranking-seven-potential-landing-spots-if-saints-look-to-trade-disgruntled-receiver/ | Michael Thomas rumors: Rating seven potential touchdown spots if Saints look to commerce disgruntled receiver


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