NFL Free Agency Primer: Michael Thomas

The regular season has come to a close, and most teams have already begun the complicated process of preparing for the 2023 season. In the coming months, we'll be covering the impending free agents most capable of shifting the balance of power in the NFL.

The Player: Michael Thomas

The rise and fall of New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is one of the more unfortunate (and mysterious) tales in recent NFL history. After setting the league on fire with a sensational 470 receptions for 5512 yards over his first four seasons, the three-time Pro Bowler has seen his career fall to pieces thanks to a lingering ankle injury. Over the past three seasons, Thomas has appeared in only 10 games and totalled 603 yards. Now, with his contract set to void, Thomas will have a chance to reset his value with a new team.

The Fit:

Thomas desperately needs an opportunity to prove he can stay healthy. He set the all-time record for receptions in a season (149) in a high-volume passing attack with an elite, meticulous quarterback. He should pursue a one-year, prove it deal with a team that can recreate that. The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers would make some sense.

The Cost:

Thomas' value is about as low as can be at present, but his name and former glory should merit a look. He'll turn 30 years old in March, but he should follow in the footsteps of Juju Smith-Schuster by signing with a contender on an incentive-laden deal. Smith-Schuster's one-year, $3.76 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2022 may be the best Thomas can hope for. 

Photo Credit: © Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports