Today, Michael Thomas inked a deal with the New Orleans Saints to become the National Football League's (NFL) highest paid wideout. On the last day of July, Thomas signed a five-year extension worth up to $100 million, with $61 million being guaranteed. The deal keeps Thomas under contract with the team until 2024.
The deal is $19.25 million per year, totaling $96.25 million. In order for him to hit the $100 million, his performance on the field must be at elite levels during the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The deal helps, because Thomas was still on his rookie deal, only set to make 1.148 million this season, which is a minuscule amount compared to his production since entering the league in 2016. The deal was pushed because Thomas was holding out of training camp until a new deal was complete. With the signing of the new deal, the holdout list of notable players is now Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon, and Trent Williams.
This sets the market for receivers looking for new deals very high. Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones, AJ Green, and Amari Cooper are all looking for extensions from their ball club. All who are productive, will be seeking similar yearly numbers or more from their new deals.
Thomas' deal is a 1,700% pay raise for the WR, who was a first-team All-Pro for the 2018 season. Currently, through his first 3 seasons, he has 321 career catches, which completely surpass the most in NFL history by a player in his first three seasons. Second on the list is Odell Beckham, Jr. who had 288 catches through his first 3 seasons. That was also bargaining power when getting a new deal, as Beckham signed a $18 million extension with the Giants before being traded to the Browns. In 2018, Michael Thomas set franchise records with 125 catches and 1,405 yards. He added nine receiving scores to his stats last season. According to ESPN Stats & Information, he had a catch rate of 84.5%, which was the highest in the NFL since 2001.
His deal caught the eye of fellow teammate Cameron Jordan, who said on Twitter, "100 mm 100 mm where yo hood at!!!! @Cantguardmike #paytheman." LeBron James, who also congratulated him via Twitter by typed, "@Cantguardmike CONGRATS lil bro!! Well deserved. Keep going and settle for nothing less than GREATNESS."
He took to Twitter himself to hilariously announce his deal by uploading this video.
This is much deserved for this young man and we know WHO DAT Nation cannot wait to see what you do for them on the field this year. Have a great season, Mike!!!