New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was asked out of the gate about Michael Thomas during yesterday’s press conference, and he took a fairly diplomatic approach.
Loomis said the injury was treated conservatively during the season, had a few issues, and it was decided he would treat it conservatively and it would heal.— Christopher Dunnells (@ChrisDunnells) July 28, 2021
He said they collectively made the call to have the surgery in June after learning it didn't heal when mini camp arrived. https://t.co/2l8TrbNrPi
Loomis made it sound like Michael Thomas was left with no choice but to have his controversial surgery in June only after conservative treatment measures failed. Saints head coach Sean Payton, on the other hand, wasn’t taking quite a “judicial” approach.
When asked directly about the Michael Thomas situation, Payton opened by sarcastically stating, “It appears we’ll have to spend some time without him.” To say Payton was showing a level of frustration about the situation would be an understatement.
“It’s disappointing,” Sean added about Thomas having surgery in June. “We would have liked that to have happened earlier rather than later. And quite honestly, it should have.”
No punches were pulled there.
We’ve previously discussed the curious timing of Michael Thomas having surgery late in the offseason earlier.
While Sean Payton said his piece about Michael Thomas and left it at that, T-Bob Hebert put it succinctly:
What I'm so confused about is why didn't Mike Thomas show up for that 2nd evaluation? He is paid 20M a year and theres no way he thought he was fully healthy— T-Bob Hebert (@TBob53) July 26, 2021
Just can't understand not showing up
There is definitely an issue right now with Michael Thomas and Sean Payton stemming in no small part from Thomas waiting until June for his surgery. That isn’t to say the issue between coach and star receiver can’t be reconciled quickly and easily, but there will have to be effort put in on Michael Thomas’s part to re-earn the trust of his head coach.
But if, instead, there were to be another issue with Michael Thomas this season, his time in New Orleans might not go much further. The Saints have an out after this season in his contract, where he would “only” count for $22.7 million against the cap in 2022 despite $70+ million remaining on his deal.