Should the Jaguars consider bringing onboard ex-Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas?

With the 2024 NFL Draft approaching in less than a month, there remains a pool of free agents who could potentially alter team rosters. Among these is former New Orleans Saints All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas, who remains unsigned after his release in early March.

The 31-year-old wide receiver is available to sign with any NFL team. While mock drafts often predict the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting a receiver in the first round, it’s worth considering why they shouldn’t also explore the option of acquiring the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year.

When healthy, Thomas exhibits remarkable dynamism, exemplified by his impressive 1,725-yard season in 2019 when he claimed the OPY title. However, he hasn’t completed a full season since then, a significant factor leading to his release from the Saints.

Despite disputes with his former team and the media, Thomas remains a highly capable receiver who could offer the Jaguars a substantial target for a year or two, while also aiding in the development of younger talents like Parker Washington and potentially a first-round pick.

Thomas is currently valued at around $10 million for a one-year contract, equivalent to what the Jaguars paid Donte Moncrief for a single season. Given his stature at 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds, Thomas instantly becomes the Jaguars’ primary receiver in terms of size. Additionally, his veteran presence could benefit a team seeking locker room leadership, a quality pursued during free agency. Thomas likely harbors aspirations to conclude his career with a Super Bowl ring and might view the Jaguars’ trajectory as a viable path towards achieving that goal.

Undeniably, Thomas is in the twilight of his NFL career. However, if the Jaguars miss out on acquiring players like Tee Higgins or Brandon Aiyuk, signing Thomas to a one-year deal could present a reasonable option, given his potential to excel when healthy.

Although Thomas has only caught four touchdowns since 2019, it’s reasonable to anticipate a significant increase in this statistic within the Jaguars’ offensive setup. Considering that Trent Baalke, the Jaguars’ general manager, typically doesn’t prioritize drafting receivers, Thomas could indeed emerge as a perfect fit for the team.

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