Receiver Michael Thomas agrees to restructure Saints contract, ESPN reports

Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was placed on injured reserve in early November because of...
Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was placed on injured reserve in early November because of a dislocated toe that had not responded well to rehab. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman, File)(Tyler Kaufman | AP)
Published: Jan. 7, 2023 at 10:53 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Wide receiver Michael Thomas has agreed to restructure his contract with the Saints, receiving a signing bonus of more than $900,000 and establishing a March 17 deadline for the team to decide if he remains in their plans for next season, according to an ESPN report on Saturday (Jan. 7).

Thomas, who is under contract through the 2024 season, agreed to have his base salary for 2023 reduced from $15.5 million to $1.165 million, while adding a massive bonus if he remains on the Saints’ roster on St. Patrick’s Day. The new deal calls for Thomas to get a $31.755 million roster bonus for the 2024 league year that becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the Saints roster on the third day of the 2023 league year (March 17), according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

The report said Thomas and the team agreed to the restructured deal Friday, and the wide receiver collected a signing bonus of $902,941 this week.

Yates reported that if the Saints decide to move on from Thomas before March 17, he would be eligible for free agency immediately. If the Saints decided to cut the injury-prone receiver before his massive bonus becomes guaranteed, it would likely do so with a post-June 1 designation, Yates reported, resulting in a total dead salary cap charge of nearly $26 million.

If the Saints decide to keep Thomas, it would still realize the salary cap savings the restructured deal provides in 2023, before taking on the mammoth hit of the bonus payment in 2024.

Thomas, who set the NFL record for most catches in a season with 149 in 2019, has played just 10 games over the past three seasons because of a series of ankle and foot injuries.

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