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The Jacksonville Jaguars are primed for the most exciting season in franchise history. Man, does it feel good to say that!
The Jacksonville Jaguars are top-heavy at wide receiver. Sure... DJ Chark, Marvin Jones, and Laviska Shenault are a more-than-adequate trio of starters for rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to acclimate himself to the NFL without feeling like he’s throwing up a hope and a prayer on every drive.
But what happens if one of those three goes down? Collin Johnson? Jamal Agnew? Laquon Treadwell? From WR4 on down, the talent and experience drop off considerably.
Enter Michael Thomas.
After nearly a full year of tensions rising, Thomas wants out. And he’s not afraid to make his feelings known on just about any public platform given to him. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton isn’t helping things by complaining about him to the media.
Thomas is likely out of New Orleans sooner rather than later... but is Jacksonville a good fit? Let’s talk about it.
The case for signing Michael Thomas
CBS Sports says Jacksonville is the top destination for Thomas due to, well, a lot of reasons. Their free agent signings were good, but not great. Their depth at wide receiver is an issue. Urban Meyer has a personal connection with him. He’s only 28 years old.
And, more importantly, he’s Michael Thomas. He’s what we in the business like to call a very good football player. Before an injury-riddled season last year, he made three straight Pro Bowls, two straight All-Pro teams, and averaged more than 100 catches per season.
Seems like a match made in heaven, right?
The case for... well... not signing Michael Thomas
Urban Meyer preaches a lot about “culture” which is a vague buzzword that could mean a million different things. To Urban, it seems to include trust in his way of running a football team and dedication to coaches and teammates.
Thomas is a gifted athlete and one of the best wide receivers in football. And he knows it. Which is why it’s not surprising that Thomas believes he knows best how to train, rehab, and recover from an ankle injury.
And why it’s a particularly red flag that he spent much of the offseason ignoring Saints coaches and trainers as they tried to check up on him.
Payton isn’t doing his receiver (or his team) any favors by blasting Thomas in the media, but Thomas didn’t either by putting off surgery to the point where he won’t be available to the team for the start of the season.
Who knows what Urban will do? He could take the biggest risk of his young NFL head coaching career (yes, even bigger than signing Tim Tebow) and make a deal for Thomas. Or he could play it slow and let Thomas go to another team.
I’m inclined to believe he’ll do the latter because he’s been nothing but methodical in his approach to free agency, the NFL Draft, and training camp.