Adam Forsythe / February 16, 2022
The New Orleans Saints have a litany of questions to answer this offseason, but one major question has seemingly been answered; Michael Thomas is back.
The former All-Pro wide receiver cleared his Instagram of all posts on Tuesday morning and then posted the following video featuring an interview with the late Kobe Bryant. Thomas captioned the post “2022 demon mode…”.
This post follows reports over Super Bowl weekend that Thomas has returned to New Orleans and both parties have healed their relationship, making a potential trade highly unlikely this offseason.
The former Ohio State receiver initially injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of the team’s 2020 season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Due to a string of issues surrounding the surgery and rehab process, Thomas missed most of the 2020 season and all of the 2021 season. There were several reports highlighting a damaged relationship between the Saints and Thomas during this time, leading most to believe that a trade was imminent. However, these most recent reports seem to dispel all those rumors.
The Saints offense could greatly benefit from Thomas’ stellar production. In a tumultuous season for the Saints, the offense ranked 19th and 28th in terms of points scored and yards gained, respectively. Additionally, the receiver room struggled mightily as the top three wide receivers (Marquez Callaway, Deonte Harris, and Tre’Quan Smith) amassed a total of 1,645 receiving yards. For comparison, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver and reigning Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp gained 1,947 receiving yards on his own.
Before Thomas’ injury in 2020, he enjoyed a record-breaking campaign through the 2019 season where he hauled in a NFL single-season record 149 receptions en route to career highs in receiving yards (1,725) and receiving touchdowns (9).
While having Thomas back on the field is sure to provide a much-needed boost to the Saints offense, it still remains to be seen who will be leading the offense from the quarterback position next season. Thomas has thrived with several quarterbacks throughout his five seasons in New Orleans, including Drew Brees, Taysom Hill, Teddy Bridgewater, and Jameis Winston. While the quarterback position is the most important lingering question mark for the Saints, it appears that Michael Thomas will be just fine, regardless of who is under center.
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