New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis
2019 Training Camp Presented By Verizon Press Conference
Thursday, July 25, 2019
What can you say about the Michael Thomas Negotiations?
"Not much, look, you always get asked, hey, are you close? Are you close? I can tell you when we're a long ways apart. It's hard for me to tell you when were close. I think we're close when I see the player in Khai's (Harley) office with a document in front of him, then I can tell you we're close."
Would you say you are a long ways apart?
"I wouldn't say that but, yeah, that's about the extent of it."
Some people say something will get done fairly soon between the two. Do you share those same sentiments?
"I don't know, look, it's just so hard to tell. I don't know the mindset of the other party and I have to find something they like and at that point we'll have something done."
Is there a sense that Michael Thomas wants to wait since other receivers are waiting on paydays as well?
"I don't know, that's a question for him. I think, look, all these deals that are in the magnitude where we're going to end up at, I think they're all a negotiation. It's a lot of give and take and then, ultimately that urgency that you'd like to have happen in February, March, April or May, ends up getting dragged out to right, before or during training camp. I think that's just the nature of the business."
Are you comfortable being the team that signs the receiver first?
"We're going to do a deal that we feel works for us, regardless of what the other teams may or may not."
Are you surprised it's taken this long?
"No, I've been around too long to be surprised."
Do you use the past contract experiences you had in this situation?
"Yeah, I'm glad you pointed that out. I think that, again, that's just the nature of the beast here and, look, all those worked out. My expectation is this will work out as well."
How much does it bother you that Michael Thomas is not here?
"It bothers me because it's a reflection on the job that we do and in a perfect world this would be done and we both feel either really good about it or both feel really bad about it and (we would) be in here working. I know one thing, Mike Thomas wants to be here, so it's not a question of him not wanting to be here."
How do you assess market value?
"I think we can get in the vicinity. I think this, this is not specific to Mike (Thomas') deal. It's true for all of them. You just have a different viewpoint on what market value is and then you also have to factor in what's right for your team as well. I understand that thinking he wants to be paid the value that he perceives himself. It's just, look, you don't open up a book and there it is, you've got to determine what that is and people have different viewpoints of it."
Would you say this has been a confrontational contract negotiation?
"No, it's been professional. He's got good representation. They've been very professional and I like to think we're professional about it as well."
Are you disappointed in Michael Thomas?
"No, I'm not disappointed in him. He has the right to negotiate, accept or decline and negotiate how he sees fit. I don't like the fact that he has a contract and he's not here, but look, I'm not mad about it. That's just the way it is. It happens in our league."
When was the last time you spoke to this agent?
"We're in contact with him every day."
Does it give you pause the correlation between the big wide receiver contracts and the lack of success by those teams traditionally?
"Well, lots of things give me pause. I don't know that I would say that. I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about that specifically. No."
What are your thoughts about what David Griffin said during the Pelicans recent press conference, in terms of wanting to live in your shadow and have the same type of success?
"I didn't see that. I, that's a nice compliment, I think, isn't it? Look, I love David Griffin. I love the job that he's done. They got a lot of great things going on there, a lot of energy and obviously we have high expectations, but David and I have a great relationship."
Are you going to take another look at Carl Granderson following the conclusion of his jail sentence?
"Well, he's on a reserve list right now for us and my understanding and our understanding is that that legal process is still going on. There's still some things to be determined here and so we're going to let that play out and then make our decisions."
Does it hinder negotiations that Michael Thomas is not here and are you saying you need to get here or we're not talking contract?
"That hasn't been our stance. No."
How do you balance the needs for this season and the future of the team?
"Well look, I kind of feel like we've been in a championship window for a long time, even though, we had a little hiccup for a couple of seasons, three seasons. But yeah, there is a little different mindset. I think there's a little more right now thinking, we would probably manage our cap a little differently than we would otherwise. The answer to your question is yes, it's a little different. It's hard for me to just sit here and tell you specifically how that's different. I think it comes into each one of the decisions that we make in the offseason. We keep that in mind."
How do you address slow starts as a general manager?
"Yeah, that's 35 years of experience. You've had slow starts before that we recovered from and we've had fast starts before that we fizzled out in, when you have a career, that goes for a long period of time. I think I'm a pretty even keeled person. I'd like to have fast starts though. That'd be good."
Did T.J. Green let you know he wasn't retiring from the NFL?
"I don't know the answer to (that). that's (his signing) the good work from some of our pro scouts and we came in and he worked out, he had a great workout and we liked the traits, we liked him coming out and so it's an opportunity to develop a player. I can't answer that specifically."
Can you discuss why haven't you spent big money on skill players (question from Bobby Hebert)?
"Well, you're ignoring your (radio) partner (Deuce McAllister) over there. For one thing, Deuce McAllister and I think you're forgetting about Marques Colston and so I probably disagree with that premise. You're just not going back far enough. I think we've been very fair with players. Look, when you have a good team, you have a lot of guys perform (well). It's hard to fit everybody in sometimes, and sometimes you have to make tough decisions and you lose players that you'd like to keep in a perfect world. I'm not talking about anybody specifically here, but I think that our record, in terms of, paying the guys that have played for us and performed well has been pretty good."