Former Saints WR Michael Thomas entering pretrial diversion, misdemeanor charges not yet dropped


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For the first time in his NFL career, wide receiver Michael Thomas is a free agent. The two-time All-Pro spent the first eight seasons of his career with the New Orleans Saints. 

He battled through multiple injury setbacks during his tenure with the Saints. He was once again placed on injured reserve last November, the same month he was arrested following a confrontation with a construction worker.

This week, a Kenner, Louisiana, spokesperson confirmed the 31-year-old had been accepted into a pretrial diversion program. The program could help Thomas avoid going to trial.

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Michael Thomas reacts after a game

Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints is shown after defeating the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on September 11, 2022. (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

However, Thomas’ acceptation into the program does not mean his misdemeanor charges have been dismissed.

“This does not constitute dismissal in any way,” Kenner spokesperson Valerie Brolin said. “Once all matters and requirements are satisfied, the case can be closed, but it is not dismissed.”

Thomas’ attorney, Daniel Becnel, confirmed that the charges remain in place and said the receiver is ready to resume his NFL career.

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The construction worker told police that Thomas began yelling at him about parking in front of his home on Nov. 10 and allegedly “verbally threatened to harm him.”

Thomas then picked up a brick and threw it at the window of a truck but caused “little if any” damage, the worker reportedly told police. Thomas then knocked the victim’s phone from his hand, shoved him and told him he did not want to be recorded, police said.

Michael Thomas warms up

Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints warms up before a game against the Chicago Bears on November 5, 2023, in New Orleans. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

In Kenner, pretrial diversion is essentially a six-month probationary period for first offenders, Brolin said. In addition to avoiding subsequent arrests while in the program, defendants also may be required to take classes, receive treatment and pay fines, she said.

When the program is completed, the case is closed and charges no longer appear in the defendant’s record, Brolin said.

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The Saints selected Thomas in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He finished his rookie campaign with 1,137 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

He ended each of his first four seasons with at least 1,000 receiving yards and earned offensive player of the year honors following his standout 2019 season. But Thomas’ last four years have been particularly injury-riddled, with the wideout appearing in 20 games over the past four seasons.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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