The Return of Michael Thomas

The New Orleans Saints offense looks to be an immensely different and potentially better unit. With new rookies and free agent signings, the Saints offseason has been nothing short of extraordinary. The biggest addition, however, is a piece that has been on the roster since 2016. All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas is set to be healthy and active for week one of the regular season.

With the rise of so many great receivers over the past two years (Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, etc.) Can’t Guard Mike has been forgotten as one of the league’s most talented pass-catchers. People forget of the 149 catch, 1,705 yard campaign he went on in 2019 and act as if an ankle injury will force him into the land of obscurity. On the contrary, Michael Thomas is looking to retake his mantle as the number one receiver in football this fall, and I believe he has the chance to do so.

Drew Brees is the greatest player to put on the black and gold, but his last year with Thomas was only an 11 game campaign in 2019 in which Thomas became the second receiver to win Offensive Player of the Year. This version of Drew was declining as a passer and his lack of arm talent created a narrative that Thomas only runs slants. However, Jameis Winston has one of the most impressive arms in football, and I feel as though we will get to witness the maturity in Thomas’ deep routes and jump ball ability this fall.

Offensive Coordinator Pete Carmichael is getting the reins for the first time since the infamous Bountygate season. That was the season that Brees passed for over 5,400 yards and Carmichael expressed his love of expanding the field in every way imaginable. With Jameis coming back from an ACL tear sustained while extending a play on Halloween night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he will look for short, safe passes earlier in the year and take full advantage of the size, hands, and separation created by Michael Thomas. As the year progresses he will feel confident in any pass he zips in the direction of number 13, and we will get to see the birth of an amazing connection between “Famous” Jameis Winston and “Can’t Guard Mike” Thomas.

Thomas is also getting immense help from the #1 deep threat in the 2022 draft, Chris Olave, and the best receiving running back in football, Alvin Kamara. This creates a scenario in which Michael Thomas can take advantage of single coverage and have a career year, in which he retakes his crown and wins Comeback Player of the Year.

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