Sean Payton ‘optimistic’ Saints will extend Michael Thomas soon

Michael Thomas holdout
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints made their way to training camp on Thursday without one pretty important player.

Young wide receiver Michael Thomas is a holdout after the two sides failed to come to terms on an extension this offseason.

Thomas’ holdout is more than justified given that he’s set to earn a base salary of just $1.15 million this coming season.

In talking about his team’s No. 1 receiver being absent, Saints head coach Sean Payton indicated that he was not surprised. He also noted that the two sides are working to get something done.

It’s good news that Payton is optimistic. However, Thomas’ absence from camp can’t be seen as a good thing.

A record holder for the most receptions in his first three NFL seasons (321), Thomas is coming off a 2018 campaign that saw him lead the NFL with 125 catches while boasting an otherworldly 87.8 catch percentage.

There’s no reason for Thomas to risk injury during camp while being paid much below market value. Any new deal would have to surpass the $18 million Cleveland Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is earning annually.