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New Orleans Saints rumors: Michael Thomas looking to force a trade?

Dec 22, 2019; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) breaks the record for receptions in a season with this touchdown reception during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

One year after breaking the NFL single-season record for receptions, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas has suited up in all of one game. Initially dealing with an ankle injury, rumors surrounding Thomas and the Saints have included a potential spat between the two.

It led to Thomas practically being suspended for a game earlier this season after he got in a fight with teammate Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. This has now led to rumors that the Saints might look to trade Thomas.

While the organization is busy denying said rumors, another report has surfaced telling us something about Thomas and his future status with the Saints.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Saints, check out #Saints rumors, rankings, and news here.

New Orleans Saints rumors: Michael Thomas looking to force a trade?

“The Thomas camp has tried to get another team to make the Saints an offer for the man who set the single-season receiving record in 2019,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported Monday.

Florio goes on to note that the Saints would take a $20 million cap hit by dealing Thomas ahead of the Nov. 3 NFL trade deadline. Is that something a 4-2 team will want to even consider given that New Orleans fancies itself as a legit Super Bowl contender? I am not too sure.

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New Orleans Saints news: Obvious issues between Michael Thomas and the Saints

New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas
Nov 24, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) walks off the the field following a win against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

These rumors are not popping up out of the blue. There’s an obvious rift between the Saints and their star pass-catcher. It’s more than plausible that New Orleans views him as too much of a headache, taking a page from the Pittsburgh Steelers book with Antonio Brown.

What we do know is that Thomas has been historically productive since the Saints made him a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He averaged 118 receptions for nearly 1,400 yards in each of his first four seasons with New Orleans.

Related: Top-100 players of 2020 NFL season

The question now becomes whether the Saints will look to trade Thomas now or potentially let the entire situation play out for the remainder of the season.

New Orleans Saints rumors: Potential Michael Thomas trade scenarios

“It’s unclear what it would take to get Thomas. Although the move would result in the Saints absorbing a $20 million cap charge, there’s surely a package of players and picks that would get them to consider it,” Florio noted later in his article.

This is a clear suggestion that the Saints would consider a Thomas trade within the next week. If so, rumors will continue to pick up in this regard. But what teams might have a fighting chance to land Thomas in a trade?

Michael Thomas trade to the Las Vegas Raiders

Volatile receivers have not turned Jon Gruden off in the past. Just think about their ill-fated short marriage with Antonio Brown. The Raiders could potentially offer up a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, additional draft picks and a young player in return.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Raiders, check out #RaiderNation rumors, rankings, and news here.

Michael Thomas trade to the New England Patriots

We previously covered rumors relating to the Patriots making a trade or two ahead of Nov. 3. One of those rumors suggested that they could look for a receiver to help struggling quarterback Cam Newton out. It’s in this that the Saints dealing Thomas to New England makes sense, potentially picking up reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore in the process. From there, the Pats would still have to offer the Saints draft pick compensation if this rumor were to pick up steam.

Related: Patriots trade scenarios

Michael Thomas trade to the Tennessee Titans

Boasting a 5-1 record on the season and seeing Ryan Tannehill playing at an MVP level, the time might be now for the Titans to make a splash before the NFL trade deadline. What better way to help Tannehill out than to trade for this stud Saints receiver? In return, the Saints could add still-young receiver Corey Davis and multiple draft picks.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Titans, check out #Titans rumors, rankings, and news here.

Bottom line: Rumors linking Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas in a trade are not dying down

Right now, this is a case of where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The Saints can deny the rumors all they want. That $20 million dead cap hit will hurt them short term.

Even then, there’s something to be said about building up a culture of success. We’ve seen that at every turn under longtime Saints head coach Sean Payton. If Thomas proves to be more of a headache than he’s worth, a trade ahead of Nov. 3 could make sense.