Robinson’s report says the sides talked about Payton’s issues about when Thomas had ankle surgery in the offseason and Thomas’ social media subtweet.
“They had a good talk about [the issues],” a source tells Robinson. “I think they both believe it’s not anything that has to go any further than what is already out there. There was some frustration from both viewpoints and that was the point of the meeting.”
Sources told Robinson that both Payton and Thomas don’t think their issues need to last any longer and they just needed to talk things out.
Robinson says he spoke with three NFL GMs about Thomas’ trade value right now and while one said he could command a package in the range of first- and third-round picks, the other two believe the Saints would be looking at something closer to second- and third-round picks.
“It would make more sense to just ride it out, at least until he’s back on the field,” one general manager tells Robinson. “If it’s not going to work after that, at least you know [as a potential trade suitor] what he can do on the field. It takes some of the risk out of an evaluation.”
Thomas opened training camp on the PUP list after undergoing ankle surgery in June.
Thomas, 28, was drafted by the Saints in the second round out of Ohio State in 2016. He was entering the final year of a four-year, $5.118 million rookie contract when he agreed to a five-year, $100 million extension in 2019.
Thomas has three years, $45,448,043 remaining on his contract, with a dead cap of $22,700,000 if he’s traded.
In 2020, Thomas appeared in seven games for the Saints and caught 40 passes for 438 yards receiving and no touchdowns.