Well Saints fans, that didn't last long.
As first reported by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, the Black and Gold have reached an agreement with 4th year All-Pro WR Michael Thomas on a blockbuster, 5 year, $100 million extension.
This contract makes Thomas the highest paid WR in the entire 100-year history of the NFL History. He’s also the first non-QB offensive player to sign a $100 million contract. Agents David Mulugheta and Andrew Kessler helped to negotiate the deal between Thomas and Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis.
The new agreement ends the All-Pro's 5-day "hold-out' and will pay Thomas $20 million per season, with $61 million of it FULLY guaranteed,
The deal not only makes Thomas a rich man beyond his wildest dreams; but now it's also an amount that surpasses Cleveland Browns WR (and former LSU star) Odell Beckham Jr., who previously had the largest contract for any offensive player (other than the QB position) in the sport of Pro Football.
Beckham's deal with Cleveland earlier this year paid him $41 million in guaranteed money. and a base salary of $90 million for 5 years, which equates to $18 million per season.
Thomas, who last season caught the most passes in the NFL last season but who this year was entering into what would have been the final year of his original rookie contract that he signed originally as a rookie out of Ohio State University following the 2016 NFL Draft, now will be in Camp and presumably ready to roll when the team kicks off its 2019 Regular Season at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 9th against the Houston Texans on ESPN Monday Night Football.
Thomas has the most catches (321) and the fourth-most receiving yards (3,787) in NFL history for the first three years of an NFL player’s career; which only three other WR's — retired Hall of Famer Randy Moss, Beckham. and Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green — have ever achieved.
Last year during the 2018 NFL Season, Thomas was ranked 11th overall in targets (147) but yet he still ended up leading the League in total receptions (125). He also finished ranked 8th overall in receiving yards per game (87.8); and his catches and receiving yards (1,405) were both Saints single-season team records.
Perhaps even more impressive: Thomas' YAC (yards after the catch), as the former Buckeye tallied (502) yards after the catch last season, which ranked him 3rd overall in that category,
Thomas also had the 2nd-most third-down conversions in the entire league (23) last year.; which the good folks over at analytics website Pro Football Focus noted in their yards per route run statistics that were released after the season. But perhaps an even more impressive accomplishment: Thomas had an 85 percent catch rate in 2018, the highest in the entire NFL for a WR.