The 27-year-old Ohio State product established himself as arguably the best player in the league at his position, forming a historically prolific tandem with future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees that could carry the Saints to a Super Bowl title.
This season, Thomas has only appeared in one game out of the Saints' first six contests, sidelined by injuries and a suspension.
Thomas' continued absences -- most importantly, the one-game suspension he earned for a locker-room altercation with a teammate -- led to rumors that he could be traded by the Saints (4-2). There is also talk that Thomas wants to leave New Orleans and find a new football home.
It would be a bold move for a team with legit Super Bowl aspirations to trade arguably its best overall player in the middle of a season. The Saints are trying to keep up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South, and adding Thomas to their lineup obviously helps them improve.
But removing a toxic presence from the roster -- especially one who doesn't want to be there -- could be a case of the reward outweighing the risk.
With the NFL's trade deadline approaching on Nov. 3, however, the latest reports are that a trade involving Thomas is unlikely.
According to Pro Football Talk, no team has offered the Saints anything for Thomas, who led the NFL in receiving yards last season (1,725) to go with nine touchdowns.
It's not that Thomas isn't wanted by other teams. If they could have him for a reasonable price, any team would surely take him.
But since the Saints would have to eat a $20 million salary cap hit for Thomas if they let him go, the team would understandably want a large haul of players and/or draft picks in exchange for the star wideout. That is what is reportedly preventing other teams from trying to trade for Thomas; believing they'd have to give up too much.
With Thomas still sidelined by a hamstring strain and No. 2 receiver Emmanuel Sanders having tested positive for COVID-19, the Saints have had to look further down the depth chart for help at receiver.
Tre'Quan Smith, undrafted rookie Marquez Callaway and kick-return specialist Deonte Harris carried the load adequately in Sunday's win over the Carolina Panthers.