Things are not right in The Big Easy between the New Orleans Saints and their star wide receiver Michael Thomas. The receiver sent out a cryptic tweet yesterday that many NFL insiders and fans see as a direct dig at the Saints organization.
Things have become strained between Thomas and the Saints this offseason, with the three-time Pro Bowler electing not to have ankle surgery until June. That has left head coach Sean Payton frustrated with the situation. He told local New Orleans media:
It's disappointing. We'll work through it with the other players that are here. But the surgery took place, and obviously, we would have liked that to have happened earlier than later. And quite honestly, it should have."
This public rebuke from his coach has obviously annoyed Thomas, leading to his tweet on Monday.
Stephen A Smith weighs in on the Saints vs Thomas situation
ESPN’s Stephen A Smith came out swinging against Michael Thomas on First Take Tuesday morning. The sports host, who is known for his fiery takes, had this to say about what Michael Thomas tweeted:
“I don’t think Michael Thomas looks good in all of this. I’m not accusing him of lying; I haven’t spoken to him.”
Smith went on to question why Thomas didn’t get the surgery earlier this offseason, especially after signing a $100 million contract with the Saints in 2019.
“My point is the season ended for you in January; what the hell is surgery in June about? What the hell were you doing that you couldn’t get operated on in that four-month period?” Smith said.
At the end of the segment on First Take, Stephen A questioned whether the Saints could trust Michael Thomas to fulfill his contract.
“I’m (the Saints) trusting you to can be coached up 100%; I’m trusting that you are going to go all out to maximize your potential; I’m trusting you are going to be a leader; I’m trusting you are going to validate to the organization you are worth the investment.”
A new era starts in New Orleans this season
The 2021 NFL season will be the first time since 2006 that the Saints won’t have Drew Brees under center. Now, due to Michael Thomas’ delayed ankle surgery, they will also be without their lead receiver for the first few weeks of the upcoming regular season.
So it could be a tough start to the season for the reigning NFC South champions.