Jaguars can scrub WR Michael Thomas’ name off from offseason list

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas #13 (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas #13 (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was always going to be a long shot but there was a chance the Jacksonville Jaguars could acquire wide receiver Michael Thomas if the New Orleans Saints either put him on the trade block or released him. That is no longer a possibility after the three-time Pro Bowl nod restructured his contract.

Field Yates of ESPN reported that the Saints converted $14.56 million of Thomas’ 2022 salary into a signing bonus that will be spread to the remaining years of the five-year, $96.25 million extension he signed in 2019. They also restructured the contract of right tackle Ryan Ramczyk to create a total of $26.21 million in cap room this year. New Orleans is currently in the red, so it’s not shocking to see them look for a way to get cap relief. What’s noteworthy is that by turning Thomas’ compensation into signing bonuses, they made it clear they see him as a part of their future.

Had the Saints designated Thomas as a post-June 1 cut, they could have freed up $15.8 million with $8.9 million in dead money but it looks like they preferred to restructure his contract even if they didn’t get as much cap room (nearly $10 million). With Ohio State product no longer being a viable choice, the Jaguars will have to look somewhere else for help at wide receiver this offseason.

The Jaguars will still have choices to upgrade their wide receiver corps.

Trading for Thomas was always going to be a tough proposition but the Jaguars still have different ways to bolster their wide receiver room. They could target either Allen Robinson or Mike Williams in free agency if they aren’t to make a significant investment. On the other hand, Russell Gage could be worth a flyer and wouldn’t be as expensive.

Also, the Jags could engineer a trade for Amari Cooper or wait for the Dallas Cowboys to release him and if Jacksonville isn’t interested in Cooper, they could also work the phone and see what it would take to acquire someone like Brandin Cooks or DK Metcalf.

Keep in mind that the Jaguars can also draft a wide receiver. While taking one with the first overall pick might not be feasible, they could always use their second-round selection on one. Drake London and Devin Bell and Jahan Dotson could be available when the Jags’ are on the clock at No. 33.

The Jaguars need to get Trevor Lawrence as many weapons as possible this offseason. While Michael Thomas is now off the table, they will still have their fair share of choices in free agency and the draft.

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