Of the many free agents that the New Orleans Saints have going into the off-season, running-back Pierre Thomas is one of them. It is always tough making decisions when you’re the Super Bowl winner and you have to choose who goes and who stays.
Other key players that are entering the free agency for the Saints are: Will Smith, Mike Bell, Darren Sharper, Scott Fujita, Jahri Evans, and Roman Harper. Thomas has become the Saints featured back in the last two years and many are asking if the star will return. Many like Thomas’ ability to break tackles and make plays in the open field using his blockers well.
Since he’s coming from the team that won Super Bowl XLIV, Pierre will likely get offers but he is a restriced agent. This means that if Thomas does decide to go with a new team, the Saints franchise gets a chance to counter-offer in hopes of keeping the player.
The question, though, is; should the Saint keep Pierre Thomas? This year, Thomas started in his most games as a Saint, got more touches, and yards. The back missed a few games due to injuries but had a career-high 793 yards (5.4 a pop) on 147 attempts.
In his best season Thomas didn’t have as many touchdowns this year (8, including receiving) as last season (12, including receiving). So, are the Saints more worried about keeping other players than Thomas or will the back stay. Other top running backs that hit the free agency in 2010 are: Leon Washington, Chester Taylor, Ronnie Brown, and Willie Parker. Something people may or may not have noticed is that Thomas handles and controls the ball well. In the 2009 season, Pierre Thomas fumbled the ball twice and lost only one fumble.
Personally, I think the running-back will stay. Thomas really is great through the tackles, and he is only in his third season. Especially since he is now becoming more featured this past season as compared to 2007 where he only had 52 snaps. Thomas is also great as a receiver and does a beautiful job following his blocks on a simple screen. Although Pierre Thomas will be at looked by other teams, there is no reason that Loomis shouldn’t counter-offer and keep the back for at least 2 more seasons.