With no new contract, Saints' star WR Michael Thomas doesn't report to camp

Yahoo Sports

The New Orleans Saints have Super Bowl hopes, and a big problem as camp starts.

Michael Thomas, by far the team’s best receiver, did not report to camp with the rest of the team on Thursday. The Saints don’t practice until Friday, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Thomas will “stay away” until he gets the new contract extension he seeks.

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Thomas had 125 receptions and 1,405 yards last season and wants to get a historic contract.

Michael Thomas wants $20 million per year

Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported on the contract talks on Monday. It seemed like the negotiations were progressing.

By holding out, Thomas is putting the Saints in an uncomfortable spot. New Orleans can’t replace their No. 1 receiver. They also aren’t swimming in cap space. But perhaps a short holdout will lead to action by both sides.

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) did not report to camp with his teammates. (AP)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) did not report to camp with his teammates. (AP)

Thomas is one of NFL’s best

Thomas has had an incredible first three seasons for the Saints. He has 321 catches, 3,787 yards and 23 touchdowns. Last season Thomas led the NFL with 125 receptions. He is Drew Brees’ favorite target, and it’s not close.

The Saints are one of the best teams in the NFL and Thomas is a big part of that. They don’t have much choice but to pay Thomas. The challenge will be finding a common ground that both sides can live with. Until then, the Saints might be preparing for the season without one of their stars.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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