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Tuesday, 08 March 2011 21:57

New Orleans Saints’ Deal with Pierre Thomas Analyzed

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Ed Staton-Louisiana SportsThe Saints didn't give running back Pierre Thomas anything close to Reggie Bush's salary, but they gave him some rewards when they signed him to a four-year contract last week.

ESPN has reported details of Thomas' deal. The four-year deal averages $2.8 million per season which ranks him No. 24 in the NFL, based on what last year's average-per-year for all NFL running backs. He's just behind Carolina's Jonathan Steward and slightly ahead of the Jets' LaDainian Tomlinson.

Thomas figures to be part of a rotating backfield. He was injured most of last season when he rushed for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns on 69 carries. He also caught 29 passes for 201 yard and a touchdown.

The Saints didn't give Thomas a signing bonus, but they structured the deal to include something similar. Thomas' base salary of $640,000 for this season is guaranteed, and he'll also get a $3.7 roster bonus. Unlike a lot of deals, this one isn't backloaded. His biggest salary-cap hit will come this year when his figure is $3.4 million.

In 2012, Thomas' base salary will jump to $2.16 million and $860,000 of that is guaranteed. He also has a $100.000 workout bonus, and his cap figure will be $2.6 million.

In 2013, Thomas' base salary will be $2.1 million. He'll also have a $300,000 roster bonus and a $100,000 workout bonus. His cap figure will be $2.5 million.

In 2014, the base salary will be $2.5 million. He has a $300,000 roster bonus and a $100,000 workout bonus. His cap figure will be $2.9 million.

The deal includes escalators in each of the final three years that could boost Thomas' base salaries.


Certain players like the Saints' Devery Henderson take a lot of criticism for dropped passes. The number of passes that a wide receiver drops is not a stat that is widely available, but I found a chart which allowed me to calculate a player's drops as a percentage of their targets.
Receiver           Tm     Drops   Targets    Drop %    Rec. %

Marques Colston NO     6           130       4.6%       64.4%
Dwayne Bowe     KC     6           131       4.6%       55.0%
Reggie Wayne     IND   12          175       6.9%       63.4%
Brandon LaFell    CAR   8             91       9.2%       50.0%

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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.