Thomas, an unrestricted free agent, was hoping to secure a lucrative long term contract to return to the Saints in 2010 but the team was not willing to give him the type of money he desired, rumored to be in the range of Steven Jackson’s six-year $44.8 million dollar contract.
Thomas held out the first few weeks of training camp in an effort to force the teams hand in negotiations but eventually gave into the Saints one-year tender offer of just under $3 million dollars.
Three weeks into the regular season Thomas would suffer a devastating ankle injury late in the Saints loss to the Atlanta Falcons that ultimately would cause him to miss ten games and land on injured reserve prior to the teams wild card match up with the Seattle Seahawks.
Now coming of a very unproductive season and major ankle surgery the questions has been proposed, will he return to the Saints in 2011?
While the franchise has made mention they would like to retain Thomas for the foreseeable future his return is anything but guaranteed and likely he will be allowed to test the market, barring the status of free agency under the expiring CBA agreement.
If a new CBA is not put in place by the March 3rd deadline free agency could be nullified and the players may be faced with a lockout by the owners, for more information on what you can do to help ‘block the lockout’ please visit NFLlockout.com for more details.
In part one of this series of articles we will start with number five team that could potentially pursue Thomas and work towards the number one landing spot for him if indeed he does not return to the Saints.