Metairie, La. -- On the eve of Saints training camp, wide receiver Michael Thomas did not report with the other veterans as he continues contract negotiations with the team. He's entering his 4th year in the league and the final year of his rookie contract.
"I think all these deals that are in the magnitude that we're going to end-up at, I think there's always negotiation," said Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis. "It's a lot of give and take. Ultimately the urgency that you'd like to have happen in February, March, April or May ends-up getting dragged-out to right before and during training camp. It's just the nature of the business."
There is also the idea that even if the sides are close in terms of money, Thomas may be holding-out to see how much other top receivers-- like Julio Jones-- get in their deals, and try to use that as leverage to surpass them and earn the title of 'highest paid receiver in the NFL.' But according to Loomis, their negotiations will be completely independent of other players contracts with their respective teams.
"I think that we're going to do a deal that we feel works for us regardless of what the other teams may or may not do," Loomis said.
If Thomas does not show-up for camp, he is subject to a $40,000 fine for each day he misses.