As a second-round draft pick in 2016, Michael Thomas is headed into the fourth and final season of his rookie contract.
In his first three seasons, the New Orleans Saints receiver has been named to the last two Pro Bowls, and last year was first-team All-Pro.
When you’re one of the best players in the league at your position, you can ask for the moon.
‘Roughly $4M apart’
On Friday, Jeff Duncan, a columnist for Nola.com, tweeted the latest information he has on the contract talks between Thomas and the Saints. He wrote:
Sides are roughly $4M apart in Average Per Year.
Thomas’ camp has come down to $22M [APY] asking price.
Saints in $18M APY neighborhood.
Thomas is currently in Europe so again nothing is imminent.
The high-water mark for positions changes often, but for the record Thomas’ ask of $22 million annually is $4 million per year more than what Odell Beckham earns on his contract; Beckham’s deal averages $18 million per.
Even Antonio Brown, who wanted a raise when he was traded and got one from the Oakland Raiders, agreed to a contract that pays him $16.7 APY.
This is how negotiations go, of course: one side goes in asking high, and the other side asks low. Hopefully they meet in the middle.
Even if you cut the difference between Thomas’ $22 million and the Saints’ $18 million to meet exactly in the middle, $20 million APY would be significantly more than any other receiver ever.
Loomis: ‘He’s a fantastic player’
Earlier this week, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis appeared on SiriusXM Mad Dog radio and in addition to discussing Drew Brees’ future with the team, he was asked about the negotiations with Thomas.
“We’ve had some conversations, and I like keeping that close to the vest until there’s something to report, but look, we love what Mike’s done for us,” Loomis said. “He’s a fantastic player, one of the best at his position in the league, and hopefully we can keep him a Saint for a long time as well.”
Thomas started every game for New Orleans last year, with an NFL-best 125 receptions, which totaled 1,405 yards. He scored nine touchdowns.
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