clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mike Thomas looks to keep shining on special teams

Thomas aims to the team’s fourth-string wide receiver as we inch closer to the 2022 NFL season.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are going to be littered with superstar talent this upcoming season.

From superstar names to Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase offensive and then Logan Wilson and Trey Hendrickson defensively, the beloved Queen City team will have all eyes watching to see if they can prove their run to the Super Bowl was no fluke.

While the big-name players will get their shine, others will have to step up along the way. No. 80 Mike Thomas is a name you might not hear a ton of, but he is a player that can change the outcome of a game.

He may not play a big part in the game plan, but he should see snaps on both offense and special teams this upcoming season.

Mike Thomas

  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 189 pounds
  • Age: 27 (28 in August)
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • College: Southern Miss
  • Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
  • Experience: Entering seventh season

Contract status

Thomas is signed through the 2022 season. His base salary is $1,035,000. That accounts for just 0.5% of the Bengals’ total salary cap.

Thomas only carries $50,000 of dead money with his deal, so it would be relatively inexpensive if the Bengals opted to cut him. Then again, his contract is also cheap, so unless they have a few high-potential options waiting, his spot seems solidified.


Thomas, not to be confused with Michael Thomas, the Saints’ standout receiver, entered the league as part of the Los Angeles Rams. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Southern Miss, playing his high school football at DuSable in Illinois.

Thomas played in Los Angeles for four seasons, but he only saw a snap in 40 games and started just one. He was seldom used, catching just 10 balls for 144 yards across all four seasons.

He almost topped that during his first season with the Bengals in the pre-Ja’Marr Chase era. Thomas had 132 yards with the Joe Burrow-led Bengals. The former 2-star recruit saw his role sliced in half when Chase was taken.

Thomas totaled just five receptions on 11 targets last season. He played in 12.9% of the offensive snaps last season and in 24.7% of the special teams snaps. While his numbers were down, his special teams snaps were up which should be seen a highlight of last season.

In 30 games with the Bengals (including playoffs), Thomas has 201 yards and a touchdown on 19 receptions. His real impact has consistently been on special teams, as his 90.6 special teams grade on 185 snaps (via Pro Football Focus) was the team’s highest from last season.

2022 Outlook

Thomas is on the depth chart as the fourth-string receiver, and his role should be relatively unchanged from a season ago. With Tee Higgins, Chase and Tyler Boyd all in front of him in a three-receiver-heavy offense, Thomas isn’t likely to get many opportunities.

However, while last season all were relatively healthy, things could change in 2022, and Thomas should be ready to instantly play a large role in the offense. To start, the 27-year-old won’t get much involvement, but that could certainly change.

At the very least, he should see similar use on the special teams unit.

Roster odds: 90%