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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Articles tagged: Michael Thomas

Saints WR Michael Thomas takes issue with league’s salary escrow proposal

Michael Thomas

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was among the players who took issue with the NFL’s salary escrow proposal.

On Tuesday, NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported that the NFL proposed to have 35 percent of player salaries be held in escrow during the 2020 NFL season to help manage costs.

The NFLPA reportedly told the league to effectively “kick rocks” in response, saying such a proposal would have to be collectively bargained.

To give you an idea about league finances, the NFL generated about $16 billion in revenue in 2018. According to terms of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players, owners receive around 52 percent of football revenue, while the players receive around 48 percent.

Revenue will almost certainly drop if there is limited to no fan attendance in 2020, and it will likely drop if the season is shortened or unable to be completed in any way. A drop in football revenue would affect the players and owners, as the salary cap would accordingly be lowered.

The owners are looking for the players to work with them on the matter, but Thomas does not like the proposal.

Here is what he wrote in response on Twitter, saying it “has to be a joke.”

Eagles defensive back Darius Slay expressed issues with the proposal, saying they should get more money for playing amid the coronavirus.

This is similar to the issues MLB and the MLBPA had; the owners wanted some help from the players given the economic conditions, while the players did not want to take a pay cut. The NBA and NBPA agreed to a plan where the players would have 25 percent of their salaries withheld after May 1 to help owners meet expenses amid conditions of zero revenue. The aims of the league to resume the season later this month should allow players to recoup money that was withheld.

Michael Thomas accepts Drew Brees’ apology over national anthem comments

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas was among those who were irate with Drew Brees after the quarterback spoke out against national anthem protests, but Thomas says he and Brees have already managed to smooth things over.

Brees said on Wednesday that he still would not support players kneeling during the national anthem even in the wake of the George Floyd killing. Several people — including his own teammates — ripped Brees for the remarks, and the 41-year-old issued a lengthy apology on Instagram Thursday morning. Thomas later tweeted that he has accepted the apology from Brees and referred to the QB as his brother.

The Saints were expected to hold a virtual team meeting on Thursday morning, so they more than likely spent a good portion of that time talking about the comments Brees made and the racial injustice protests that have been sweeping the country.

Thomas had sent a couple of brief tweets criticizing Brees, but Saints defensive back Malcolm Jenkins was so angry that he posted an emotional video addressing the situation.

Michael Thomas calls out Drew Brees over thoughts on national anthem protests

Michael Thomas

There has been a lot of talk about national anthem protests returning to the NFL in large numbers this season in the wake of the death of George Floyd, and Drew Brees made it clear on Wednesday that he still would not agree with kneeling before games. That opinion did not sit well with the quarterback’s favorite receiver.

Brees said he still disagrees with national anthem protests because he feels they disrespect the American flag and those who have served in the military.

“I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country. Let me just tell what I see or what I feel when the national anthem is played and when I look at the flag of the United States. I envision my two grandfathers, who fought for this country during World War II, one in the Army and one in the Marine Corps. Both risking their lives to protect our country and to try to make our country and this world a better place. So every time I stand with my hand over my heart looking at that flag and singing the national anthem, that’s what I think about. And in many cases, that brings me to tears, thinking about all that has been sacrificed. Not just those in the military, but for that matter, those throughout the civil rights movements of the ‘60s, and all that has been endured by so many people up until this point. And is everything right with our country right now? No, it is not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together, we can all do better and that we are all part of the solution.”

The New Orleans Saints star faced immediate backlash over the comments, and Michael Thomas was among those who called Brees out. Thomas wrote on Twitter that he doesn’t care whether Brees approves of the protests and said the 41-year-old doesn’t know any better.

Brees and Thomas have arguably the best on-field connection in the NFL, but they obviously strongly disagree on this particular topic. Brees is not the first prominent member of the NFL community to openly condemn national anthem protests.

Michael Thomas, DeVante Parker trade trash talk on Instagram

Michael Thomas

Most people would agree that Michael Thomas is in a different class than DeVante Parker, but the Miami Dolphins receiver doesn’t seem to think the gap in talent between the two is all that substantial. We learned that during a highly entertaining Instagram beef between Thomas and Parker this week.

The NFL on FOX’s Instagram account posed an interesting question on Monday, asking followers which they think is more difficult to do — catch a pass while being guarded by All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore or breaking up a pass while guarding Thomas. Parker responded that the first option would be tougher, and Thomas didn’t appreciate it.

Thomas said Option A would be more difficult for Parker because he’s an inferior talent. More specifically, the New Orleans Saints star said “they don’t even put your name in the same sentence as me remember that!”

“Got some hard feelings there brotha??? Let me get targeted 300 times a day,” Parker shot back.

Thomas then pointed out that it took Parker years to break out and that he should “blame your parents not no QB.” Here’s the full exchange:

Parker finally had a breakout season in 2019, catching 72 passes for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns. The scores matched Thomas’ output, but Thomas dwarfed Parker’s other numbers with 149 catches and 1,725 yards. Having Drew Brees obviously helps Thomas, of course.

There’s no way of knowing what type of production Parker would have if he and Thomas swapped teams, but the target argument doesn’t hold much weight. Parker was targeted 128 times last season, which means he caught just 56 percent of the passes that came his way. Thomas converted over 80 percent of his targets. Parker played almost the entire season with Ryan Fitzpatrick as his quarterback, though Thomas doesn’t think that’s a worthy excuse.

We have seen some insane stats that show how dominant Thomas has been since he entered the NFL, so the numbers pretty much speak for themselves. Parker was probably trying to compliment Gilmore more than insult Thomas when he chose the first option with FOX NFL’s question, but Thomas took it personally.

Insane stat shows how dominant Michael Thomas has been since entering NFL

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas caught 125 passes with the New Orleans Saints in 2018, and it would have been reasonable to assume at the time that the number of receptions would go down as the most of any single season in his career. Thomas then went out and dwarfed that total this year.

Coming off a season in which he set an NFL record with a mind-boggling 149 catches, it is safe to say Thomas is currently the best wide receiver in football. But there is perhaps no stat that does a better job of proving how dominant he has been during his professional career than this one:

That’s right, only three players in the NFL have more catches combined over the last five seasons than Thomas, and Thomas was still playing in college for one of those seasons. He has hauled in more passes in the past four years than guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Davante Adams and Odell Beckham Jr. have caught in the last five.

Of course, Thomas has missed just one game in his NFL career while many of the aforementioned players have suffered significant injuries, but it’s still insane. The fact that Thomas has barely ever left the field despite catching 274 passes on 332 targets since the start of 2018 is otherworldly. And to think, this is a guy who had to clap back at critics following a tough game not that long ago.

We’d say Thomas’ will probably never top his 149 receptions from this season, but who are we to doubt him? The former second-round pick simply catches everything that is thrown his way, and the Saints keep throwing to him. There’s no reason to change that approach until someone proves they can slow it down.

Saints’ Mike Thomas jabs Super Bowl referee Bill Vinovich

Michael Thomas

One NFL star isn’t particularly impressed with the league’s choice to officiate Super Bowl LIV.

The league announced Wednesday that Bill Vinovich will referee the upcoming Super Bowl, granting him the assignment for the second time in his career. Those in New Orleans will have something to say, however, as it was Vinovich’s crew that infamously blew a huge pass interference call in last year’s NFC Championship.

To that end, Saints wide receiver Mike Thomas wasted no time in criticizing the Vinovich appointment.

Vinovich has had a lengthy career, but in the minds of some, that no-call is going to define him. It was inevitably going to come up when the NFL made the announcement, but the league probably figures that it will blow over quickly and won’t be a talking point by the time Vinovich officiates the Super Bowl.

We do know that Thomas hasn’t forgotten. Given what he wanted to happen in the immediate aftermath of the non-call, though, we shouldn’t be surprised.

Michael Thomas tweets response to haters after season-worst game

Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas wants to make sure that the people don’t forget so quickly.

After the New Orleans Saints star had his worst game of the season Thursday against Atlanta, he tweeted a response to his haters in the form of a PFF stat that he has the most plays of 15+ yards among all receivers this season.

Thomas, the two-time Pro Bowler, was held to six catches for a season-low 48 yards against the Falcons. He also dropped his first pass in over a year, but the Saints still won by the final of 26-18 to clinch the NFC South division title.

On the year, Thomas still leads the NFL by a wide margin with 110 receptions and 1,290 receiving yards, and it’s obvious his Twitter game is still on point.