Like most American footballers who developed an interest in the game during the earliest days of their lives, Michael Thomas was influenced by his environs to love the sport when he was in high school. It was at Taft Charter High School in Woodland Hills, California that he began to take the game seriously. From there, he moved on to Ohio State University where he was further groomed in the sport. Thomas proved himself to be a fine player and it was with ease that he got selected by the New Orleans Saints in the 2016 NFL Draft.
As a wide receiver with the Saints, Michael has come to accumulate a lot of franchise and NFL records that have summed up to being named in the PFWA All-Rookie Team, a three-time Pro Bowler, and the NFL receiving yards leader of 2019. More so, Thomas has twice been named to First-team All-Pro; he was the NFL receptions leader for 2018 and 2019, in addition to being the league’s Offensive Player of the latter year.
A Look at The Amateur Career That Brought Him to NFL
Michael Thomas was born on March 3, 1993, in Los Angeles. He attended Taft High School where his passion for football was ignited as he took little or no interest in the game while growing up. He didn’t feature with the school team during the first few years but was very active in his senior year.
Michael was quite fast in adapting to the rules of the game and familiarizing himself with his teammates despite being a newbie. In no time, he became one of the best in the team. By the end of his stay in the school, he was one of the best players as he totaled 86 receptions in addition to 1,656 yards with 21 touchdowns.
After high school, it was no surprise that he couldn’t get offers from colleges because of his very short record. So, he decided to spend a year at the Fork Union Military Academy while waiting for a lucky charm. Fortunately, he later got an offer from Ohio State University.
Chronicling The Exploits of Michael’s College Career
With little experience in the game, he joined the school team and recorded quite a disappointing outing in his first year. He featured in 11 games but recorded only three receptions for 22 yards. As a result of this, his coach thought it wise to let him off the field for a while in order for him to learn most of the tricks involved in the game while watching others play. Soon enough, he was equipped to feature in the preseason opener for the school team. He performed much better with a record of 54 receptions for 799 yards in addition to 9 touchdowns.
His capacity in the game became broader and he led the school team to a victory during the Sugar Bowl competition with an outstanding record of 7 receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. He kept up with the pace and in the following season, he totaled 56 reception for 781 yards in addition to 9 touchdowns.
His college career was well-decorated as he was a CFP National Champion and a Sugar Bowl Champion in 2015. The previous year, he was a Ben Ten Champion. With all of these, there was no doubt he would became a part of the NFL. Eventually, he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 2016 NFL Draft. Michael Thomas was picked in the second round as the 47th overall and sixth wide receiver to be selected.
His NFL Journey Began With a $5.11 Million Contract
It became apparent that the Saint wanted him as a part of their team when they offered Michael a four-year contract that immediately made him a millionaire. The wide receiver took the offer which was worth $5.11 million. The deal guaranteed $2.60 million and handed the footballer a signing bonus of $1.92 million.
He was named one of the Saints’ starting wide receivers and by the end of the season, Michael Thomas had proved he’s worth every bit of the money his rookie contract offered. He set a franchise record for a rookie in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. The following season was also a remarkable one as the wide receiver made the NFL Top 100 Players’ list. He was ranked 81st by his fellow players and was also named for his first Pro Bowl.
Michael Thomas dominated the league in the 2018 season as he led in receptions. He managed a remarkable 125 receptions for 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns that season. He was named to his second Pro Bowl and it became very necessary for the Saints to review his contract; based on his performance, it was no longer fair to stick with the first deal.
Getting a $100 Million Contract Extension
If Michael Thomas’ first NFL contract made him a millionaire, his second and current pact made him a multi-millionaire and the most paid wide receiver in the league. There were no doubts that Michael deserved the five-year, $100 million contract extension that guaranteed $61 million. If any existed, he cleared it when he finished the 2019 season with 149 receptions for 1725 yards and nine touchdowns.
In addition to that, he was named for his third Pro Bowl and made history as the first wide receiver to win the AP Offensive Player of the Year award since Jerry Rice attained the feat in 1993.
For a player of his caliber, it is only natural that Michael has various off-the-field interests that earn him money. Add that to his career earnings and income from endorsement deals, it becomes apparent that the wide receiver is worth a great deal. Even as we can’t substantiate what he’s worth at the moment, we can predict his wealth will soar in the following years. For one, the footballer signed a deal with UTA, a talent agency that would help him pursue opportunities across various mediums.
What We Know About The Family of Michael Thomas
Most successful athletes brag about their parents publicly but the New Saints Orleans’ wide receiver has kept the affairs of his immediate family off the spotlight. Often, Michael Thomas is mistaken to be Michael Lauriston Thomas, a soccer player who played shortly as a midfielder for Arsenal, the Premier League football club.
The wide receiver is said to have been named after his father and he has a sister whose name is yet to be revealed. As for his love life, the wide receiver has been mute about it. No one knows if he is romantically involved with anyone but to the best of our knowledge, he’s not married.
His Uncle Keyshawn Johnson Inspired His Career
For people who started following the sports newly, Keyshawn Johnson is a former professional footballer and Michael Thomas is his nephew. Like Thomas, Johnson was a wide receiver and he dominated the NFL, playing for various teams through eleven seasons.
An XXXVII Super Bowl champion, Keyshawn inspired Michael’s interest in American football. The Saints wide receiver acknowledged this in an interview with New York Post, asserting that Keyshawn has been a great motivation for him and other relatives.