The New Orleans Saints have just restructured wide receiver Michael Thomas’ contract that has turned his 2021 base salary into a signing bonus. The move has cleared an additional $8.7 million in cap space for the upcoming 2021 season. The restructure essentially kicks the can further down the road on Thomas and it makes him a near lock to be on the team next season. That should come as good news for many Saints fans as Thomas’ name has swirled around trade rumors since the trade deadline in the 2020 season. Those have only been heightened after Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson announced one of his four desired trade destinations to be the Saints.
Contract restructures to create cap space as the league year looms:— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2021
— #Saints WR Michael Thomas did a restructure, creating $8.7M of space.
— The #Raiders did the same with LBs Nick Kwiatkoski ($2.7M) and Cory Littleton (4.4M).
— The #Ravens restructured CB Marcus Peters (3.5M).
Thomas’ 2020 season was a far cry from his 2019 performance. Many factors were involved that kept Thomas out for nine games and limited him to just 438 receiving yards. Namely a high ankle sprain and a fight in practice were the culprits. Those setbacks are what fueled speculation of his potential departure via trade. Now, with this restructure, whoever the next quarterback for the Saints will be will have Thomas at their disposal for the first year on the new job.
The new restructure comes on the heels of an incredibly busy Wednesday and Thursday that saw multiple veterans on the team either restructure their contracts or get cut. Notable cuts as of now include receiver Emmauel Sanders, punter Thomas Morstead, corner Janoris Jenkins and linebacker Kwon Alexander. All told, New Orleans now sits $15 million in the red against the 2021 salary cap. A restructure to Terron Armstead in addition to extensions for Ryan Ramczyk, Marshon Lattimore or Marcus Williams should see the team become compliant with the cap.
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