Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saints Nation: Pierre Thomas and Saints Apparently Far Apart in Contract Negotiations

Reading THIS ARTICLE by Len Pasquarelli clued me in to the news for the first time that there are issues in the contract negotiations between the Saints and Pierre Thomas. There's no doubt that both sides want a long term deal done, but the Saints want to pay Thomas based more on what he's accomplished statistically thus far, whereas Thomas wants to be paid based on what he thinks he could become. If he's really asking for "money in the Steven Jackson range", which is 6 years and almost $45 million, I can see why there's slow progress. Don't get me wrong, Thomas is an awesome back and I would hate to lose him. I think he's a huge part of what the Saints do on offense. But $45 million over 6 years? As Pasquarelli points out, the Saints have already invested a mammoth contract in Jahri Evans, and they're looking at extending Drew Brees in the not too distant future. They have to be vigilant about how they spend their money and they can't spread it around too irresponsibly. This is the price you pay for being successful, and we've seen the Patriots go through it. Some promising young players leave because they want to get the big payday and weaker teams will oblige in paying their asking price. The Saints have too many good players to spend wastefully. The fact that Thomas is skipping OTAs after he said that he wouldn't suggests there's a real problem in negotiations. The article also informs us that Roman Harper is in the same boat. It looks like things are about to get more difficult this offseason for the Saints, and there's no guarantees PT Cruiser and Roman Harper will be with the Saints long term. I still think the Saints want to extend both players long term, but they'll either need to break the bank or the players will need to make some concessions. I'm not sure I see either happening but I'm hoping for the latter.