Sean Payton has responded to the report from Pro Football Talk about those in the league believing the Saints may be willing to trade WR Michael Thomas for the right return:
Sean Payton’s reply to Mike Thomas speculation pic.twitter.com/kZ5i2buxOf
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) October 24, 2020
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, some in league circles believe the Saints could be willing to trade WR Michael Thomas for the right price. Florio says it’s also possible Thomas could be interested in moving on.
Thomas is coming off of a team-imposed suspension after he punched a teammate in practice. He was fined a game check and held out of the team’s game against the Chargers.
The plan was for Thomas to return in Week 7, but he’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Florio wonders if Thomas could be being held out to preserve potential trade value.
As of now, there have been no reports to confirm that Thomas is, in fact, on the trade block. Although, Florio mentions that this could be a strategy from New Orleans to see if anyone is willing to make them an offer.
The problem with trading Thomas from the Saints perspective, beyond the fact that they would be parting with one of their best players, is that it would result in a $20 million cap hit in 2021. New Orleans would, however, avoid paying him his $12.6 million, which reduces the net cap hit to $7.4 million.
Jason Fitzgerald explains that trading Thomas wouldn’t make much sense for the Saints, considering the $20 million of dead money they would take on next year and the fact that they would gain basically nothing in terms of the cap this year after they converted almost all his salary into a bonus for cap relief.
Thomas, 27, 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 last July.
In 2020, Thomas has appeared in one game for the Saints and caught three passes for 17 yards receiving and no touchdowns.
We’ll have more regarding the Saints and Thomas as the news is available.