New Orleans — The Saints and leading receiver Michael Thomas have agreed to a new five-year, $100 million contract, his agent said Wednesday.
Andrew Kessler of the agency Athletes First, who joined colleague David Mulugheta in negotiating the deal with the Saints, said the contract pays Thomas about $61 million in guaranteed salary and bonuses.
The agreement, first reported by NFL Network, brings to an end Thomas’ training camp holdout that spanned five practices.
The Saints had a scheduled day off on Wednesday and Thomas was expected to join practice today.
Currently, Thomas’ average annual pay of $20 million represents a new high for NFL receivers, eclipsing the $18 million per year paid to Cleveland’s Odell Beckham Jr.
Last season, Thomas ranked first in the NFL in catches with 125, sixth in yards receiving with 1,405 and tied for 10th with nine touchdowns.
Thomas has established himself as an elite receiver with 321 catches for 3,787 yards and 23 touchdowns in his first three NFL seasons.
But other top NFL receivers, including Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Dallas’ Amari Cooper, are nearing the ends of their current contracts and could be in line for similarly lucrative extensions.
Thomas was entering the final season of his rookie deal and was due a little more than $1.1 million. Cooper entered training camp in the final year of his deal, but hasn’t held out. Jones is under contract through 2020.
The sticking point in the Thomas negotiations had more to do with the structure of the deal than the average annual value. The Saints wanted wiggle room under the NFL salary cap to also negotiate extensions with a number of other promising young players whose contracts will expire in coming years, such as running back Alvin Kamara and top cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Thomas has eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first three seasons since New Orleans made him a second-round draft choice out of Ohio State.
Elliott accident: No injuries
Dash cam video from Frisco, Texas, police at the scene of Ezekiel Elliott’s car wreck in January 2017 shows no one reported injuries at the time of the crash, which has since led to a lawsuit against the Cowboys and Elliott.
Ronnie Hill, who is suing the Cowboys and Elliott for $20 million, alleges there was a conspiracy to cover up the severity of the crash between Frisco police and the Cowboys. Ellis was driving a BMW southbound on Dallas Parkway.
The police report, of which the Star-Telegram also obtained a copy, says the Dallas Cowboys running back was driving his GMC Yukon SUV west in the left lane of Gaylord Parkway at 7:06 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2017.
The city of Frisco released a statement denying the allegations of a cover-up and saying Frisco police responded and investigated the accident according to department policies and procedures.
“This allegation is false,” the release said. “Both parties to the crash were offered medical attention and both refused. Emergency medical services were not requested by either party. Neither party was treated or transported.”
The accident occurred four days before the Cowboys’ playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. According to the suit, Elliott was headed to Cowboys’ practice and was running late. Hill alleges Elliott ran a red light.
Elliott “barreled through a red light,” causing more than $33,000 in damage to Hill’s vehicle. Hill claims he suffered “serious and permanent” injuries in the wreck.
Nick Buoniconti, a Pro Football Hall of Fame middle linebacker and an undersized overachiever who helped lead the Miami Dolphins to the NFL’s only perfect season and became a leader in the effort to cure paralysis, has died at the age of 78.
Buoniconti died Tuesday in Bridgehampton, New York, said Bruce Bobbins, a family spokesman.
In recent years, Buoniconti struggled with symptoms of CTE, a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated blows to the head. He had recently battled pneumonia, Dolphins senior vice president Nat Moore said.
... Former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy has paid $55,000 to a Philadelphia police officer following an arbitrator’s ruling that the player and another man injured the officer during a nightclub brawl more than three years ago.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the arbitrator’s ruling last month also ordered that a former college teammate of McCoy’s pay $55,000.
Authorities said a fight over a champagne bottle at Recess Lounge in February 2016 led to one officer being punched and kicked, and he was left with a broken nose, broken ribs and other injuries. City and state prosecutors filed no charges.
... Bills starting center Mitch Morse is out indefinitely after being placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol.