Michael Thomas’ agent chimes in on the viral debate with Saints media

New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas recently went at a prominent team reporter, and now his agent is weighing in on the conversation.

New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings
New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

All signs have been pointing towards a Michael Thomas exit from the New Orleans Saints for a while. However, the fact that everyone saw it coming still hasn't made the departure a smooth process. On Thursday, the roller coaster that Saints fans have been on with Thomas hit its biggest drop right before the ride ended.

After prominent Saints reporter Jeff Duncan wrote a piece detailing New Orleans’ plan to release Thomas in time for free agency, Michael Thomas took to Twitter to criticize Duncan’s reporting of the situation. While there were some personal attacks thrown, at the center of the exchange is the understanding of Thomas’ contract and his eventual exit from New Orleans.

Thomas believes Duncan was making it out to seem like the Saints were cutting him, however, Thomas argues that he was on a one-year deal and he was always set to become a free agent in 2024. Thomas’ agent, Andrew Kessler, also made a statement, supporting his client’s argument.

Kessler explained that it has always been a one-year deal, structured in a way so that he’ll be an unrestricted free agent on March 13. On Wednesday, that’s exactly what will happen.

Saints receiver Michael Thomas is preparing for free agency

Ultimately, it’s an argument about semantics and NFL jargon. When the news of Thomas’ contract restructure was first reported by Adam Schefter back in March of 2023, Schefter said that the “Saints restructured Michael Thomas’ contract, reaching agreement on a one-year, $10 million deal that has a max value of $15 million.” This echos Thomas’ and his agent’s argument that it was always a one-year deal.

However, because of New Orleans’ cap situation, the franchise always has a lot of funky contracts on the books. So while both sides agreed on a one-year deal, on the books, the Saints structured the deal in way so that it appears as if it runs through the 2024 season. ESPN’s Katherine Terrell explained that if Thomas is still on the roster by the third day of the new league year, $119 million in bonuses would guarantee.

In other words, the plan was always for Thomas to be a free agent this offseason. To Duncan’s point, it may officially be a release, but that’s just a formality of the Saints’ odd contract structure. In the end, the plan was always for Thomas to be a free agent this offseason and that’s what we’ll see on March 13.