The Detroit Lions should have considered trading for Michael Thomas.
It appears this ship has sailed. That being said, Thomas is indeed worthy of putting a trade package together in hopes of acquiring, but it won’t happen after his recent contract update.
After restructuring his current deal, Michael Thomas will likely remain in New Orleans, but Brad Holmes should at least kick the tires and dangle some premium draft capital in front of the Saints to see if they will take a lunge at the carrot. After the restructure, Thomas carries a dead cap of $37.2 million in ’22, 24.4 million in ’23, and 13.6 million in 2024.
The biggest red flag when it comes to star receiver Michael Thomas is the fact that he’s only played in seven games over the past two seasons.
Thomas has obvious ties to the new regime in Detroit as Lions head coach Dan Campbell served as the New Orleans Saints offensive assistant and tight ends coach before joining the organization. Also, Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn coached the defensive backs with the Saints following his playing days.
The former Ohio State Buckeye pass-catcher quickly emerged as one of the league’s best receivers during his time with Drew Brees under center and offensive wizard Sean Payton, calling the plays. Payton recently stepped away from the Saints and will likely find himself in a broadcast booth this upcoming season before being probably the top head coaching candidate heading into next season.
With Payton leaving the Saints, and New Orleans tight against the cap without a franchise-caliber quarterback in place, if there were ever a time to cash in on a significant trade chip, it feels like now would be that time. It’s widely known that Payton and Thomas had a rift. Ahead of last season, Thomas needed ankle surgery. Still, instead of getting it right as the 2020 season came to a close, Thomas waited until the summer to have the surgery, which infuriated Payton, knowing he’d likely be without his top receiver for the entire 2022 season.
Recently, Thomas restructured his deal, saving the Saints $10 million in cap space, certainly suggesting he will stay in New Orleans for another season.
Thomas then took to social media, confirming he is expected to return to the Saints.
Unfortunately, it appears like Thomas will be off-limits, but that doesn’t mean the Detroit Lions shouldn’t at least consider making an offer for one of the league’s top receivers.
Thomas is just 28 years old, and although he endured plenty of wear and tear over his first four NFL seasons, he should be entering 2022 refreshed and ready to make a positive impact.
Thomas has made 510 receptions totaling 5,950 yards and 32 touchdowns in 71 games.