The 2019 AP Offensive Player of the Year hasn’t seen a full season since that year, and he’s played in just 10 games over the last three seasons. When Thomas is on the field, he’s still a dynamic game-wrecker, but coming into his age 30 season, it’s time to wonder if this is the new normal. Thomas is the Saints’ most valuable non-quarterback because of what he adds to the offense in his presence, and what is reduced in his absence.
New Orleans got a great receiver in Chris Olave with the 11th pick in the 2022 draft, and Olave has a lot of the traits of a true No. 1 receiver, but Thomas is more of a “Planet Theory” guy when healthy – there just aren’t many people on Earth who stand 6-foot-3, weigh 213 pounds, and have Thomas’ lethal combination of downfield speed, physicality, and route mastery. If Thomas is on the ball for the 2023 season, he and Olave could combine to give free-agent addition Derek Carr his best season to date – and the Saints’ first playoff appearance since 2020. — Doug Farrar, Touchdown Wire