Michael Thomas has become one of the elite wide receivers in the National Football League; this has been made evident as he continues to top the league in his first three professional career seasons. Coming from a lineage of football stars, the New Orleans Saints’ player has scratched the surface of his potential in the NFL offense. Yet, despite producing elite performances day and day out, he is still in the early years of his career in the league. With such an exceptional start to his professional career, it is worth taking a look at how Michael Thomas’ began his NFL journey.
Before the NFL, Michael Thomas was a College Football Superstar
Michael William Thomas Jr. was born on 3rd March 1993 in Los Angeles, the United States. He was born to African-American parents, and he is the nephew of the NFL veteran Keyshawn Johnson. Growing up, Michael nurtured the dream of playing football in the professional league someday. This dream led him to put up much effort while playing for his high school team. He schooled at Taft High School, where he was among the top football players of his set.
The youngster made incredible performances while emerging as the top high school wide receiver in the state. He recorded 21 touchdowns and 1,656 rushing yards during his senior year, and towards the end of his high school, many top universities were pushing to have him on their team. Immediately after his graduation, Michael went on to spend the next year at the Fork Union Military Academy before enrolling at Ohio State University for his collegiate career.
Joining the Ohio State football team in 2012, Michael made eleven appearances in his freshman year. Although he didn’t get much playing time, he was able to finish with three receptions and 22 yards. The following year, Michael got redshirted and returned in the 2014 season. Playing as a backup wide receiver in 2014, he led the team to win the CFP National Championship while scoring nine touchdowns and 54 receptions for 799 yards.
He also made an incredible performance, helping the team to win the Sugar Bowl Championship by defeating Alabama University the same year. In his last college season in 2015, Michael led the team to beat Oregon to become the Fiesta Bowl Champions. He further made nine touchdowns and a career-high of 56 receptions for 781 yards to wrap up his college career.
His NFL Career Stats and Injury
The New Orleans Saints picked Michael Thomas in the 2016 NFL draft as the 47th overall selection in the second round. After the draft, Michael signed a four-year deal worth $5.11 million. Joining the Saints, he was made one of the starting receivers alongside Brandin Cooks. He quickly acquainted himself with the team’s playing style. After catching his first career touchdown from Drew Brees on 26th September, he continued paving waves until the end of the season. At the end of his rookie season, Michael was able to set a franchise record with a total of nine touchdowns and 92 receptions for 1,137 receiving yards.
Following the departure of Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas became the main wide receiver for the team in 2017. He earned his first Pro Bowl call-up that season after he had five touchdowns, 104 receptions, and 1,245 receiving yards. Thomas made history as the only NFL player with most receptions in his first two professional career seasons. In the 2018 season, he recorded a career-high 125 receptions, which became the highest in the NFL that season.
Despite suffering an ankle injury in December 2018, the player attained nine touchdowns and 1,405 receiving yards at the end of the season. He made the All-Pro team and was equally selected to his second Pro Bowl. Also, he maintained his lead as the only NFL player with most receptions in his first three seasons.
He continued his extraordinary performances in his fourth season after signing a new contract with the Saints. Thomas played 16 games, and finished with 149 receptions, setting an NFL record and a personal career-high. He also recorded nine touchdowns from 1725 receiving yards. His performance earned him the AP Offensive Player of the Year, the first wide receiver to receive the award since 1993.
Career Accolades and Achievements
Michael Thomas currently holds 33 records as a pro player, 26 of which are NFL records, such as the most receptions by a player through his first four seasons, most consecutive games with 12+ receptions, and fewest games to record 400 career receptions. He has also been named in the Pro Bowl thrice, and in the First-Team All-Pro twice.
He has also been NFL Receptions leader twice and was the receiving yards leader in 2019. Other notable awards and achievements include PFWA All-Rookie Team, Third-team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Honorable Mention.
Michael Thomas’ Talent has Made Him Wealthy
Despite having an excellent reputation behind him and a series of exploits that ranked among the best in the league, Michael Thomas started his NFL career on a four-year $5.11 million contract. He earned $2.5 million in his first year as a pro player, $1.9 million of which came as a signing bonus. He earned $682,681 and $915,361 in his second and third season.
However, that changed in his fourth professional season. Michael Thomas signed a five-year $100 million contract with the Saints, becoming the league’s highest-paid wide receiver. The deal gives him $61 million in guaranteed earnings, and $20 million came as a signing bonus. The contract also boosted his salary to an average of $15 million per season.
With a contract that finally matches his talent, Michael Thomas has amassed a considerable net worth, estimated at $5 million. The wide receiver’s net worth is expected to grow as his new contract reflects in his bank balance.
Michael Thomas Might Be In a Relationship
In the early days of Michael Thomas’s career in the NFL, the wide receiver had a tranquil off-field life, mainly when it came to his love life. But having established his profile as one of the league’s best players, Michael Thomas might now be living up to the off-field standard, with a relationship with a woman named Mariah.
Not much is known about their relationship, although rumor suggests the two began dating in 2019. According to the speculation, Michael’s girlfriend, Mariah, has a child from a previous relationship. It is also believed that she was married to an NBA player. However, none of this has been confirmed by the Saints superstar.
If Michael Thomas’ relationship with Mariah turns out to be accurate, it would be a disappointment to fans who have suggested a host of other women, mostly from the Saintsation cheerleading squad. The most notable of them is Bailey Davis, who has featured in the Saint’s swimsuit calendar and shares a similar commitment faith with the wide receiver.