My how far we've come from the days when I would constantly lobby for Pierre Thomas to get more touches and more respect among Saints fans. Even then there were still disbelievers. But in the two years since, Pierre has proven that my faith was well placed by becoming one of the most important weapons in the Saints offensive juggernaut. I doubt many fans would argue that now.
It seems Thomas has also had his own change of heart. Two months ago, he told the Times-Pic that his plans were to attend all off-season team activities.
Thomas, however, said he has no plans to skip any team activities this offseason to hold out for an extension.
"I'm going to show up, " he said, "just because that's my attitude and my personality."
Which is why I was more than a little surprised when it was reported yesterday that Pierre has not been taking part in this weeks activities. He's not under contract and participation thus far has only been voluntary so he's not breaking any rules. I just want to know what gives with the about-face.
The Times-Pic suggests that PT may simply not want to risk injury during these not-so-important practices. Some conspiracy theorists point to the recent shooting of his cousin as a possible reason for his absence. I'm not buying either of those however and I think if either of those were the case, we would have heard. More than likely the reason is exactly what we all think it is: contract talks or lack thereof. Pierre's agent has probably decided to turn up the heat on the Saints front office, corrupting our golden boy and using him as a pawn in a pissing match that seems all too common in the NFL these days. But Thomas knows the deal...
"It's a business and it's up to them... it's really not up to me."
No, Pierre, it's not up to you. And that's a shame really; just another reminder of the direction this league appears to be heading. Because Pierre seems like the kind of guy who would be happy to play professional football simply for all-you-can-eat Drago's oysters. Does the Flying Frenchman deserve to be paid much, much more and have the security of a multi-year contract? Abso-freakin'-lutely! Does it have to involve silly hold-out games? I wish it didn't.
So when will Pierre Thomas finally get under contract? More importantly, when will he to return to the field? Will he continue to hold out through mandatory minicamp starting on June 4th or is this just an isolated incident? Perhaps you disagree with my entire theory that his absence from OTA's has been at the suggestion of his agent. Let's talk about it.