Saints Make Michael Thomas NFL’s First $100M Receiver

The contract pays Thomas about $61 million in guaranteed salary and bonuses

Michael Thomas Signs Extension With Saints
Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints makes a catch. (Streeter Lecka/Getty)
By Evan Bleier / July 31, 2019 11:42 am

Michael Thomas’ decision to hold out in order to coax the Saints into giving him a new contract has paid off in a historic way.

On Wednesday, New Orleans made Thomas the first wide receiver in NFL history to sign a $100 million contract when they inked him to a five-year deal that includes about $61 million in guaranteed salary and bonuses.

Due a little more than $1.1 million this season before signing the deal, Thomas’ new average annual salary of $20 million is more than the previous annual high for a receiver which was set by Odell Beckham Jr. ($18 million per year).

Thomas, who caught 125 balls, racked up 1,405 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns last season, has 321 career catches in his first three seasons, by far the most in NFL history in that amount of time.

“We’re going to do a deal that we feel works for us regardless of what other teams may or may not do,” Saints’ general manager Mickey Loomis said last week before the deal was done. “I understand (Thomas’) thinking. He wants to be paid the value that he perceives himself.”

The deal for Thomas will likely be a benchmark for Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Dallas’ Amari Cooper when the time comes for them to negotiate their next contracts.

Tyreek Hill, who is said to be in the midst of negotiating a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs despite all of his off-field issues, likely also took note of the record-setting pact.

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