Jets Urged to Explore Trade for Polarizing All-Pro WR in 2022

Michael Thomas Saints

Getty New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas chilling on the sideline of an NFL game.

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas has yet to pull the trigger on a big-time trade where he brings in supreme talent.

Although now may be a better time than any to pull the trigger.

If Douglas does get froggy this offseason, you can bet your bottom dollar he will be bargain shopping. He loves his draft assets and he won’t be giving them away.

That mindset could lead him to one of the most talented albeit polarizing wide receivers in the NFL.

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An Opportunity of a Lifetime

Tyler Calvaruso of The Jets Wire listed New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas as a “No. 1 wideout” that the green and white can trade for this offseason.

Simarlily Connor Hughes of The Athletic joined Boy Green on his YouTube channel and name-dropped Thomas as a potential option to consider.

The 28-year-old (who will be 29 by the start of the 2022 season) didn’t suit up this season due to complications from offseason ankle surgery.

He still has three more years left on his contract for $49.4 million in base salary. The Saints have a potential out in the deal this offseason, but they would have to eat a $22.7 million dead cap hit, per Spotrac.

Douglas said the Jets have the ability to be involved in every player acquisition conversation this offseason due to their bountiful draft selections and ample cap space.

They have a solid receiving corps with Corey Davis and Elijah Moore returning next season, but neither has proven capable of being a No. 1 wide receiver in an NFL offense.

The same can’t be said for Thomas who has proven time after time he is one of the best receivers in the NFL:

  • Four 1,000 yard seasons in five years
  • Led the NFL in receptions twice (2018, 2019)
  • Former Offensive Player of the Year
  • Three-time Pro Bowl selection

Specifically, he has put up video game numbers seemingly every season with career totals of 510 catches, 5,950 receiving yards, and 32 touchdowns.

A Litany of Red Flags Are There

If someone wants to trade away a talent like Thomas, there is normally a reason for it.

There are several red flags that should give the Jets or any other team that considers pulling the trigger some pause.

Thomas has missed 26 games over the last two years, although prior to that point he was the pillar of availability.

Additionally, during the 2020 season, he punched a Saints teammate at practice. He was benched for the next game by the team and was fined over $59,000 for the incident.

Most recently Thomas was supposed to undergo offseason ankle surgery earlier in the year but waited until June to go through with it. That caused some odd friction and New Orleans head coach Sean Payton made his frustration public when he addressed it with the media saying the surgery should have happened earlier.

Ultimately due to complications, he ended up missing the entire season and never suited up.

While the red flags aren’t great, it does present a potential bargain opportunity. Any team that makes a trade for the talented wideout likely won’t have to pay full price. That sure seems like a Douglas kind of trade if there ever was one.

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