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Pierre Thomas Days As A Saint Likely Numbered

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Rumors have swirled for weeks now about a fall out between Saints head coachSean Payton and the teams leading rusher Pierre Thomas since he was sidelinedwith an ankle injury in week three.

The issue according to many close to the situation is one of time as Payton is not pleased with the length of Thomas’ recovery as initial reports had him out just a few weeks, not the six he has already missed.

Factor in the emergence of talented rookie running back Chris Ivory, who Payton is enamoured with, and suddenly Thomas appears to be on his way out in New Orleans.

Apparently the Saints tried to deal Thomas to the New England Patriots for a corner back that has not been named but likely was either Devin McCourty, their 27th pick in this years draft, or Darius Butler, a high second round pick in 2008.

The trade stalled however when the Patriots demanded draft compensation to go along with Thomas which the Saints clearly were not prepared to offer effectively nullifying the deal.

While neither side has confirmed that this actually took place the story originated from a respected source, Brian Allee-Walsh, who has covered the Saints for the Times-Picayune for many years before his departure to Neworleans.com.

Thomas has rushed for 1,817 yards and seveteen touchdowns since catching on with the Saints in 2008 as an undrafted free agent. His 793 rushing yards and 5.4 yard per carry average lead all Saints running backs in 2009.

During his tenure with the team Thomas has been nothing short of perfectly behaved, is never one to complain and has executed his role in the Saints offense beautifully, leaving one to wonder why the Saints would not keep him around.

Thomas was tendered a relatively low offer this off-season and he did hold out before eventually agreeing to the offer but now it seems unlikely that the Saints will try and sign him long term after the season ends given recent events.

Chris Ivory has definitely flashed potential this year, and his 158 yard performance against Tampa Bay was spectacular, but he has yet to show the type of consistency needed out of a primary back.

Certainly the Saints can’t think that Ivory can replace Thomas in their offense next season, or do they?

Check out Keith Null’s weekly article about the Saints on NFL.com by clicking here.

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