The Cincinnati Bengals have officially re-signed Mike Thomas to a one-year deal, the team announced Friday.
According to NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, the deal is worth about $1 million.
Michael Thomas WR (Bengals) one year, $1.015M, $990K base salary, $25K first-game active-inactive 2021 roster bonus— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 25, 2021
A sixth-year player in 2021, Thomas was originally a sixth-round pick by the Los Angeles Rams in the 2016 NFL Draft. He stayed with the Rams for the first four years of his career, including both years Zac Taylor was on their staff as an assistant offensive coach. In his 40 games with the Rams, Thomas had 144 receiving yards on 10 receptions.
Last offseason, the 27-year-old Thomas reunited with Taylor by signing a one-year deal with the Bengals. In 14 games played, he had career-highs in targets (21), receiving yards (132) touchdowns (one) and catches (13). In games where Joe Burrow played, Thomas hauled in 13 of 17 targets but failed to catch a pass when Burrow was sidelined.
Thomas clearly wasn’t targeted much, but he stepped up and made several big plays when called upon. Now that A.J. Green, John Ross and Alex Erickson are gone, Thomas has a chance to have a bigger role this year, even if the Bengals spend a high draft pick on another receiver.
However, this deal won’t force the Bengals to keep Thomas if several other receivers outplay him in training camp and the preseason. And it also clearly won’t preclude the Bengals from taking a receiver as high as the fifth-overall pick, where guys like Ja’Marr chase, Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle could be available.