New Orleans Saints All-Pro WR Michael Thomas was back in action earlier today at the team’s 2019 Training Camp; after ending his 5-day “hold-out” yesterday when he and the organization reached agreement on a record-breaking 5-year, $100 million dollar contract extension that keeps him in the Black and Gold thru the 2024 NFL Season.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 1, 2019
And as the team began their 7-on-7 drills, Thomas caught a slant pattern from QB Drew Brees that generated a huge roar from the thousands of Saints season-ticket holders who were present in attendance, as the organization treated them to a day of fun.
After practice, Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters that he knew Thomas would arrive in good shape, and then added that he’s personally happy to have him back in the fold.
Thomas told reporters that he was also happy with the way things turned out, before receiving some good-natured ribbing from teammate and All-Pro defensive end Cam Jordan (who just recently got his very own contract extension); who then jokingly asked Thomas: “How does it feel to have all that money?”
Cameron Jordan walks in the presser to ask Michael Thomas: “How does it feel to have all that money?” pic.twitter.com/SgysVVs7u4
— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) August 1, 2019
There were smiles all around. and it’s more than safe to say that any potential bad feelings that might have occurred during negotiations, have quickly been forgotten; as the team now can turn its collective focus towards their preparations for the upcoming 2019 NFL Season.
The Saints’ first Pre-Season game is a week from tomorrow night (Friday Night, August 9th), when they host the visiting Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes Benz-Superdome.
“PLAY OF THE DAY”
— Amie Just (@Amie_Just) August 1, 2019
Hands-down, the “play of the day” belonged to back-up TE Dan Arnold, who made an incredible leaping catch on a highly-thrown pass by back-up QB Taysom Hill over back-up linebacker Vince Biegel; who was on Arnold in tight pass coverage like “white on rice”.
After Arnold’s grab, one fan could be clearly heard yelling loudly from the bleacher seats nearby:
“WHY THE HELL COULDN’T YOU DO THAT IN THE DAMN NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME?”, which drew a roar of laughter from the thousands in attendance.
OTHER NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS
2nd year WR Keith Kirkwood appeared to be shaken up on one play and was assisted off the field and taken to the locker room with the assistance of a trainer, although it appeared not to be anything serious in nature, injury-wise. Kirkwood was able to walk off the field under his own power.
Payton singled out the play of a handful of players when he was asked which players (if any) had personally stood out to him since the team began wearing full gear with pads on last week. Earning his praise were RB Dwayne Washington, DE Trey Hendrickson and DT David Onyemata.
The Saints will Practice again in Metairie at the Oschner Training Facility tomorrow and Saturday, before holding their annual “Black and Gold Scrimmage” at Yulman Stadium on the Tulane University campus, in uptown NOLA on Sunday Night. Then they practice the very next morning in Metairie, before taking the day off next Tuesday….