The relationship between the New Orleans Saints and star receiver Michael Thomas has grown so strained that the team are said to be ready to trade him “sooner rather than later.”

The Athletic’s Larry Holder reported the latest buzz about Thomas on Friday, indicating that he anticipates an “unceremonious end” of Thomas’ stay in New Orleans.

With legendary quarterback Drew Brees retired and after an offseason that featured skyrocketing salary cap cart wheels just to line up a competitive roster, the last thing the Saints want is their best point guard. game out of town.

Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston are already a shaky quarterback situation. If they don’t have their only viable gap in Thomas to throw, it will be even more difficult for head coach Sean Payton to get the elite production he’s used to from his offense.

What an exchange of Michael Thomas would mean for the Saints of New Orleans

If you look ahead on nightmarish situation of the salary cap in 2022 in which the Saints are preparing – $ 35.8 million in the red – it sounds like a total catastrophic scenario.

All of the contract restructurings and the kick in the box maneuvers that GM Mickey Loomis has pulled off on behalf of to remain relevant for this year may well backfire. Thomas hit a cap of $ 24.7 million next year, all but $ 2 million of which New Orleans would eat dead money unless a commercial suitor took part of the player’s salary from 28 years old.

Just looking at Thomas’ raw stats makes it obvious how valuable he is:

Keep in mind that his mind-boggling numbers, where he averages over 100 catches a year, include the 2020 campaign in which Thomas had just 40 catches for 438 yards and zero scoring, appearing in just seven games. .

The ankle injury that plagued Thomas last year is actually a big reason for his breakup with the Saints. Whatever happened or who is really to blame, it seems a lane separation is better for New Orleans and Thomas, even if it stings.

Beyond finding a business partner, the Saints desperately need to find another viable wide receiver once Thomas is gone.

Thomas’ business value might drop a bit due to the ongoing drama he is staging with the Saints organization. Regardless, someone will be more than willing to not only take on Thomas, but also give New Orleans much needed assets to build for the future.

A great way for the Saints to get around their cap issues is to have a successful trade with Thomas in which they land at least a first round pick and possibly a Day 2 pick as well. Depending on where Thomas is going. Hell, that first round could even become Brees’ eventual heir in QB.

the Jacksonville Jaguars reportedly interested in dealing for Thomas, because new Jags coach Urban Meyer would be reuniting with one of his former Ohio State players in this scenario.

Other high-traffic teams to watch in Thomas’ looming draw are the New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears.