3. New England Patriots
If the Patriots want a top-caliber receiver, they may not get much cheaper than Michael Thomas. New England would be able to get Thomas at a discounted rate, and they wouldn’t have to cross their fingers hoping their current underachieving receiver unit performs this year.
During his career-best 2019 season, Thomas’ numbers almost equaled those of the entire Patriots wide receiver corps in 2020.
In 2019, Thomas recorded 149 receptions, 1,725 receiving yards, and nine receiving touchdowns. In 2020, the Patriots wide receivers (remember, ALL of them combined) recorded 168 receptions, 2,063 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns.
You could point to Thomas’ recent injury and say he won’t be the same when he returns to the field, but the fact that he once nearly outperformed the whole Patriots wide receiver unit? Even at half his production he’d still be considered elite in New England.
The Patriots just dropped about 125 million on new pass catchers this offseason, but any team spending that much on one player class must be desperate…desperate enough to buy an injured player.
It’s no secret that New England are frantically looking for receivers to pair with the beleaguered Cam Newton and to help develop prospect Mac Jones. Thomas may yet ease their worries, and he has more No. 1 target material than any other newly bought player so far.
And bringing Thomas to New England could be easy as forking over cornerback Stephon Gilmore (and maybe a draft pick, given Gilmore’s messy contract). With two already promising cornerbacks in J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones, New England could afford to part with their veteran corner if it means securing a proven wideout like Thomas.
The Saints would send Thomas and all of his attention-mongering drama far away to the AFC, where they literally wouldn’t have to see him anymore. In return, New Orleans patches up their secondary with a Gilmore-sized bandage, and everybody ends up with what they want.
Well, it’s not exactly ideal for the Saints’ wide receiver unit, but you win some, you lose some. (They could alternatively pursue N’Keal Harry instead.)