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Michael Thomas Cashes In As Saints Make Him Highest Paid Receiver in NFL

This past NFL offseason has been one to remember. As the league approaches its 100th year, there has been a shift in the paradigm regarding player contracts. From Antonio Brown controlling his trade destination to Michael Thomas’ record-setting extension.

On Wednesday, the Saints made Thomas the highest paid receiver in the league. Thomas, the franchise record holder in single season receptions and yards signed a five-year extension worth $100 million, which includes $61 million guaranteed. Prior to the deal, Thomas was set to make only $1.1 million this season, which was the final year of his rookie contract.

The new guaranteed money is the most in league history for an offensive player who is not a quarterback. Per 247Sports, it is also the first time in franchise history that the Saints have ever paid a position player more than $10 million annually. Prior to Thomas’ deal, Odell Beckham Jr was the top paid receiver with a five-year, $90 million deal — $18 million per season with $65 million in practical guarantees.

In his three seasons in the league, Thomas has been named to two Pro Bowls, first team All-Pro, and the All-Rookie team. He also has more catches over a three season span than any one in NFL history with 321 receptions. How Thomas’ deal will shift the receiver market remains to be seen as there is a plethora of talent at the position.

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