Saints sign Thomas to a $100 million deal

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 13: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints makes the catch under pressure from Josh Hawkins #48 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS — Michael Thomas is reportedly now the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Thomas reached a “blockbuster” deal with the New Orleans Saints for a five year, $100 million extension. Rapoport says that the deal also makes Thomas the first non-quarterback offensive player to sign a $100 million contract.

The NFL Network also reports that Thomas’s deal includes $61 million in guarantees. He is now expected to show up to Saints training camp.

Thomas did not report to camp last week after he and the Saints could not come to a deal after weeks of negotiations. Before the extension was inked, Thomas was the third highest-paid wide receiver on the Saints roster behind Ted Ginn and Cameron Meredith and was still working on his rookie deal.

Thomas has established himself as an elite receiver with 321 catches for 3,787 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons.

Thomas plays in an offense run by record-setting quarterback Drew Brees and designed by Sean Payton, who has presided over one of the NFL’s most productive offenses for nearly a decade and a half.

At the same time, however, Brees has overwhelmingly thrown Thomas’ way in recent seasons.

Last season, Thomas ranked first in the NFL in catches with 125, sixth in yards receiving with 1,405 and his nine touchdowns tied for 10th. He has eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first three seasons since New Orleans made him a second-round draft choice out of Ohio State.

Head Coach Sean Payton also said he was not surprised by Thomas’ holdout, which the receiver foreshadowed on social media late last week, when he wrote: “I want every penny that’s mine. I don’t want a penny more or a penny less.”

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