clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Get to Know: WR Michael Thomas

Let’s take a deep dive, and get to know the star wide receiver known as “Can’t Guard Mike.”

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

I think I speak for most fans when I say a healthy Michael Thomas was one of the most fun players to watch, and a top 5 player at his position. After being drafted 47th overall in the 2nd round out of Ohio State University in 2016, he immediately made an impact and formed what would be an impactable bound with quarterback Drew Brees. During his rookie season, Thomas set the bar pretty high by breaking every major rookie receiving record in franchise history which had been set by New Orleans Saints legend Marques Colston. Thomas ended his first NFL season with 92 catches, for 1137 yards, and 9 touchdowns.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Following up what was an impressive rookie season, Thomas did not suffer the dreaded “sophomore slump” as he went over 1200 yards and 100 catches in his second season and ended up earning his first Pro Bowl nod. Arguably his best performances of the season came when the team needed him the most in the postseason. Against Carolina, Thomas recorded a season high 131 yards and helped set up several scoring drives to put the panthers away. Then on the road against the league's best defense and one of the better cornerbacks in Xavier Rhodes, Thomas would dominate the Vikings in the second half of the divisional round as Thomas recorded 7 catches, 85 yards, and 2 touchdowns to help the Saints make a comeback in what was one of the most astonishing games in NFL history.

Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

If you’ve noticed the pattern here, Michael Thomas once again looked better and better as each season progressed. During the 2018 season, Thomas set numerous NFL and Saints records including most catches in a game with 16 (Saints), most catches by a player in his first two games to start a season with 28 (NFL), and most catches in 3 games with 38 (NFL). In a Week 13 game against Dallas, Thomas recorded his 90th catch of the season, joining Odell Beckham Jr. as the only players in NFL history to record at least 90 receptions in their first three seasons. Thomas led the league in receptions, finished 6th in yards and broke the Saints single season record for receiving yards with 1405. Thomas earned his second Pro Bowl and was named first team All Pro. His most signature game from the season was once again during the postseason, in the divisional round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Eagles, as Brees and Thomas connected 12 times for 171 yards and a touchdown to send New Orleans to the NFC title game.

Divisional Round - Philadelphia Eagles v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

If 2018 wasn’t enough for you, 2019 might have gone down as one of the greatest seasons we’ve ever seen from a wide receiver as Michael Thomas was a man on a mission. The star receiver would go on to have one of the most historic seasons in NFL history as Thomas would record a league record 149 catches for a league leading 1725 yards and 9 touchdowns. Thomas ended the season with his third Pro Bowl nod, 2nd first team All Pro nod, and became only the second wide receiver in NFL history to earn AP Offensive Player of the Year.

New Orleans Saints v Tennessee Titans Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

After earning a well-deserved contract extension in 2019, things hit the fan pretty fast for Thomas and the Saints. An ankle injury suffered in Week 1 of the 2020 season hampered Thomas all season and would eventually cost him his 2021 NFL season as well. Fast forward to 2022 and throughout the first three games of the season Michael Thomas looked like his old self, recording 16 catches, for 117 yards, and 3 touchdowns including 2 of those touchdowns in Week 1 to help beat the Falcons. However, injuries struck the star receiver again and with a foot injury, Thomas’s comeback was put on the shelf. It seemed like the Saints and Thomas were heading towards a split after reports came out that Thomas and the Saints agreed to a reworked contract that almost certainly meant the end of the Michael Thomas era in New Orleans. However, in a bizarre set of events the Saints landed former Raider quarterback Derek Carr and it was reported that the Saints including Michael Thomas as apart of the pitch to bring Carr to New Orleans and Thomas reached out welcoming Carr and showing excitement to get to work. In the end, Michael Thomas and the Saints agreed to another reworked contract that boils down to a 1 year 10-million-dollar deal that can be maxed out to 15 million with incentives. Michael Thomas has done so much for this team and community throughout the years and quite honestly has captured the hearts and souls of the Who Dat Nation. If the Saints are going all in this year and are going to make a serious playoff push you will need the man known as Can't Guard Mike.

Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, follow us on Instagram at @SaintsCSC and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. You can also give my Twitter page a follow as well @AlecSalas09