Michael Thomas missed the 2021 season due to a relapse with his ankle condition. However, he has reportedly been displaying his signature physicality during one-on-one matches, according to several reports out of New Orleans on Friday. Head coach Dennis Allen told reporters after practise that he anticipates the veteran taking part in team drills shortly. For the New Orleans Saints, who signed Jarvis Landry and selected Chris Olave in the first round this offseason, a healthy Thomas creates a powerful wide receiver group.

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Who is Michael Thomas?

Michael Thomas is an American football wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). Born on March 3, 1993, he played college football at Ohio State and was drafted by the Saints in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

In 2012, Thomas participated in 11 games as a true freshman. He started out as a backup wide receiver in his redshirt sophomore season in 2014, but he soon took over as the starter. He declared his intent to enter the 2016 NFL Draft on January 5, 2016.

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The New Orleans Saints selected Thomas with the 47th overall pick in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He was chosen as the sixth wide receiver that year. The WR signed a four-year, $5.11 million contract with the Saints on May 9, 2016, with a $2.60 million guarantee and a $1.92 million signing bonus.

For the season opener against the Oakland Raiders (now Las Vegas Raiders), the Saints selected Thomas and Brandin Cooks as two of their starting wide receivers. With six receptions for 58 yards, he completed his first NFL start. He received his first NFL touchdown on a three-yard pass from Drew Brees on September 26, 2016. In a 21-27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on October 23, 2016, he had his first game with over 100 receiving yards. Thomas set rookie records for receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns during his first season.

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After Brandin Cooks was dealt to the New England Patriots, Thomas entered his second season as the Saints’ top receiver. He had 104 receptions for 1,245 yards and five touchdowns by the end of the season. His 196 receptions in his first two seasons in the league were the most in NFL history.

Thomas exceeded 200 career receptions in the 2018 season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, catching a franchise-record. Thomas joined Odell Beckham Jr. as the only players in NFL history to have at least 90 receptions in each of their first three seasons when he caught his 90th pass of the season in Week 13’s game against the Dallas Cowboys. Thomas has 125 receptions for 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns by the end of his third season. He placed first in the league for receptions and sixth for receiving yards. In terms of receiving yards, he created a new Saints franchise record. He was chosen first-team All-Pro and was selected for the Pro Bowl for the second time in a row.

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Thomas and the Saints agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract extension on July 31, 2019, with $61 million of that amount guaranteed. Thomas became the then NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver.

Thomas caught 10 catches for 123 yards in the 2019 season opener against the Houston Texans, which the team won 30-28. Thomas concluded the season with a season-high 13 receptions for 152 yards in Week 10’s 26-9 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He hauled in eight passes for 114 yards and a touchdown in Week 11’s 34-17 victory over the Buccaneers. Thomas caught 11 catches for 134 yards and a score in Week 14’s 48-46 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The wide receiver broke the Saints’ previous mark for receiving yards in a season during the game. Thomas had an NFL-record 149 receptions for 1725 yards and 9 touchdowns by the end of the campaign. 

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Prior to leaving the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 of the 2020 season with a severe ankle sprain, Thomas had three receptions for 17 yards. On October 11, 2020, the Saints suspended Thomas from the game after he punched C. J. Gardner-Johnson during practise. The team also fined him $58,823 for the misdemeanor.

The WR made his comback in Week 9 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Thomas led the squad throughout the 38-3 victory with five receptions for 51 yards. In Week 11’s 24-9 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, The 29-year-old had nine receptions for 104 yards, the first of the year.