Michael Thomas is about to get paid by the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints’ All-Pro wide receiver is entering the final year of his rookie deal, but there have been reports that the team has made some headway on his contract in recent days and it could be massive.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported on Tuesday that the Saints are “comfortable” making Thomas, 26, the highest-paid wide receiver in the game. Russini added that the deal could be done before training camp, setting the new bar for wide receiver contracts in the NFL.
Currently, Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham has the highest average salary at $18 million per year, and also collected the largest guarantee ($65 million). The Giants inked Beckham to that deal last year before shipping him off to Cleveland.
Behind him are Antonio Brown ($16,708,333 annual salary), Mike Evans ($16,500,00) and DeAndre Hopkins ($16, 200,000).
Thomas’ base salary will be just over $1 million this season, according to Over The Cap. It’s the first year that he’ll make over the $1 million mark in annual salary.
Thomas was taken in the second round by the Saints in 2016. He’s made the Pro Bowl twice and has 3,787 yards and 23 touchdowns in his career.
Pro Football Talk reported Monday that the sides had made progress in their conversations.
“We’ve had some conversations, and I like keeping that close to the vest until there’s something to report,” Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said via Mad Dog Radio. “Look, we love what Mike’s done for us. He’s a fantastic player, one of the best at his position in the league, and hopefully we can keep him as a Saint for a longtime as well.”
Michael Thomas Deal Will Set the Wide Receiver Market
Thomas is not the only star wide receiver in need of a deal. Among the others seeking extensions are Falcons’ star Julio Jones and Cowboys No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper.
Jones has two years left on his current deal but Russini reported the sides are confident a long-term extension will get done before training camp.
Cooper is another story, not carrying the star power of a player like Michael Thomas or Julio Jones.
Dallas gave up a first round pick to acquire Cooper from the Raiders, but the former first round pick is asking for big money during an offseason where the team also has to pay quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. And Dallas already extended defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who signed the most lucrative deal in franchise history.