The New Orleans Saints and wide receiver Michael Thomas have agreed to restructure Thomas’ deal. The agreement includes the pass catcher making $903K this week as we head into the final week of the regular season. The news was broken by Field Yates and was posted on his Twitter.
Thomas remains under contract through the 2024 season and had his base salary in 2023 reduced from $15.5M to $1.165M while piling on a $31.755M roster bonus for the 2024 league year that becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2023 league year (March 17, 2023). The Saints’ wideout also received a signing bonus of $902,941 this week, which is the equivalent of one extra game check for his original 2022 base salary of $15.35M when the deal was signed. This isn’t the first time this contract has been restructured.
2024 is where it gets interesting as his cap hit is over $59 million but just has a $14 million dead cap if he were to be let go by the organization while the dead cap would be over $26M in 2023.
If the team decides to move on from Thomas any time before the new league year, he would enter free agency immediately. If it happens before the start of free agency, Thomas could find a new home before any other free-agent-to-be players trying to find a new team can.
If Thomas is cut before his roster bonus becomes guaranteed, it would likely do so with a post-June 1 designation. Under the prior terms of the deal, the Saints would have had to carry Thomas’ $15.5M salary on its salary cap until June 2 before eventually getting cap relief.
This move ultimately allows the Black and Gold some flexibility to make some moves when March and April roll around to add some new pieces to this team as they have over $14M of additional cap space.