Colts: Why Michael Thomas trade will be extremely unlikely

Colts CB Rock Ya-Sin (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Colts CB Rock Ya-Sin (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

While the Indianapolis Colts should be focused on what they can control this season, general manager Chris Ballard should always be looking for ways to improve the roster.

After all, this group is seemingly on the precipice of competing for a title. As long as their heads are above water following their unforgiving opening five games, they should have what it takes to get into the playoffs, even if it means waiting until the last week or two to do so.

You know what could really take the Colts’ roster over the top, though? If they acquired a top-drawer receiver for Carson Wentz when he eventually returns from foot surgery.

Though Michael Pittman has the makings of being the Colts’ No. 1 wideout in Year 2, he has a ways to go before he can be considered an upper-echelon talent.

With that in mind, fans in Indy have identified Michael Thomas as a trade target, with his future in New Orleans looking increasingly doubtful as the offseason wears on.

While we would absolutely love Thomas in Indianapolis, a trade is extremely unlikely to materialize because the Saints can’t escape his contract until at least next year.

Here’s why a Colts-Michael Thomas trade is unlikely to happen.

The Saints would surely love to cut bait with Thomas as soon as possible, as there’s a paper trail of evidence that suggests the three-time Pro Bowler wants out. It all started when he suffered a high-ankle sprain in a garbage time win over the Buccaneers in Week 1 last season.

Since then, Thomas, upon returning from injury, has gotten into a fight with a teammate at practice, refused subsequent counsel from the coaching staff, and delayed offseason ankle surgery after things never fully healed until late June. That landed him on the physically unable to perform list, and he’s expected to miss the first six weeks of the new campaign.

That decision frustrated head coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis, and rightly so, but Thomas took things a step further this week when he unleashed a cryptic tweet that seemed to portray his fractured (beyond repair?) relationship with the Saints.

A breakup is almost guaranteed at this point, but Indy will have to wait until next offseason to make a run at trading for Thomas after New Orleans restructured his contract.

As the above tweet notes, the franchise will save nearly $16 million by trading Thomas after June 1. By then, the all-word receiver, who led the NFL in both receptions and receiving yards in 2019, will have droves of suitors lined up with offers.

We all know Ballard doesn’t like to get into bidding wars or give up premium draft capital for a position that isn’t necessarily a glaring need, right? Taking that into account, Thomas would have to request a trade to the Colts for a deal to come to fruition, and that just isn’t likely.