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New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas sitting out camp amid contract dispute

By Connor Grott
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) can be fined $40,000 for each day of training camp he fails to attend. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/cf3f5fa25c8c61b84b5c600c436104d1/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) can be fined $40,000 for each day of training camp he fails to attend. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

July 25 (UPI) -- New Orleans Saints star wide receiver Michael Thomas failed to report to the team's training camp Thursday amid ongoing contract negotiations.

League sources told the NFL Network and NOLA.com that Thomas, who is in the final year of his current contract, won't participate in training camp without a new deal.

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"I think it's something that hopefully will be resolved soon," Saints head coach Sean Payton said. "It was more common I think back when some of these picks weren't slotted, more common with rookie players. But I think his agent, [Saints general manager] Mickey [Loomis], those guys are working on it. I'm optimistic it'll be done fairly soon."

Saints GM Mickey Loomis said in June that negotiations with Thomas on a new contract were taking place. New Orleans offered the All-Pro wideout a contract that averaged between $18 million and $19 million per year, but Thomas wants to be the first receiver to earn $20 million annually, according to Yahoo Sports.

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Thomas can be fined $40,000 for each day of training camp that he fails to attend, according to the league's collective bargaining agreement.

"Look, you always get asked, 'Are you close? Are you close?'" Loomis told reporters. "I can tell you when we're a long ways apart. It's hard for me to tell you when we're close.

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"It's just so hard to tell. I don't know the mindset of the other party. We're going to find something they like and at that point we'll have something done."

The Saints selected Thomas in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Ohio State. The two-time Pro Bowl receiver had 125 receptions for 1,405 yards and nine touchdowns last season.

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