There hasn’t been much news on the Michael Thomas-extension front, but reports were that the New Orleans Saints front office wanted to lock up Thomas sooner rather than later. Because Thomas has proven himself to be an elite wide receiver, he’s not going to be cheaply, but as his production continues to grow, so too could his salary expectations.
In fact, Pro Football Focus actually predicts Thomas to be one of only 10 wide receivers in the entire NFL in 2019 to go over 1,200 receiving yards:
Only Julio Jones (94.3) has earned a higher receiving grade than Thomas (93.2) among the 82 NFL wide receivers with at least 900 routes run over the past three seasons (2006-18). Thomas also ranks third on the list in passer rating when targeted (116.8) and yards per route run (2.39), catching 352-of-448 targets for 4,210 yards, 202 first downs and 26 touchdowns in the process. He is also one of seven receivers with two single-season receiving grades above 90.0 in the PFF era (2006-18): Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Brandon Marshall, AJ Green, Odell Beckham Jr. and Thomas are the only wideouts who lay claim to the feat.
Put simply, Thomas’ three-year start in the NFL is hands down the best we at PFF have seen from a wide receiver. His overall efficiency, contested-catch ability and a knack for winning critical downs all combine for one of the best receiving talents in the league — the odds-on favorite to take the torch from Julio Jones in the near future. Thomas’ projected stat line is currently 121.6 receptions, 1,470.1 yards and 9.6 touchdowns.
Other names on Pro Football Focus’s list include Julio Jones, Keenan Allen, and DeAndre Hopkins.
If Thomas were indeed to pass not just 1,200 receiving yards, but 1,400 yards for the second year in a row, Thomas could very well price himself out of the New Orleans Saints budget.
Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.