Somebody needs to sign Pierre Thomas

The best receiving back in the NFL right now is currently a free agent. Thomas Maney explains why Pierre Thomas could help any team.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Rogelio Solis)

(AP Photo/Rogelio Solis)

Somebody needs to sign Pierre Thomas

With the importance of the passing game in the NFL, having a running back who can play comfortably as a receiver has become increasingly important. That’s why it comes as something of a mystery that the highest-rated running back based on his pass-catching ability in our system is currently a free agent.

We’re talking about Pierre Thomas, who has been one of the most well-rounded backs in the NFL since arriving as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois in 2007 (he was cut by the Saints this offseason for salary-cap reasons). He finished with a positive overall grade in every season with the Saints and has only graded negatively as a receiver or rusher just once — in the 2010 season when injury limited him to just 221 snaps.

Thomas also regularly graded among the five best receiving backs and ranked among the most elusive backs in the league (as measured by our elusive rating and yards after contact per attempt). Few players display such a consistently low pad level and ability to fall forward when being tackled.

Thomas isn’t likely an every-down running back at this point in his career, having recently turned 30 and having dealt with injury issues previously, but he can still perform, as evidenced by his 2014 season. After catching 90 percent of his targets, he gained 9.7 yards after the catch per reception and forced 20 missed tackles.

With injuries piling up on running back depth charts across the league, Thomas should be viewed as the best available option. He has the ability to help almost any team.

  • Ramiroquaaii

    I would like to see him with Kubiak’s offense in Baltimore last year.

  • Felton51

    Good luck, Pierre – thanks for the great memories. That kickoff return against the Vikings and the TD against the Colts were magnificent. He blocks, catches and runs well – just keep him to 15 touches a game.

  • phil

    If Dallas picked this guy up I think it could really put them in a good place to take the division. Having McFadden Randle and Thomas would be solid especially if one of them gets hurt.

    • Mark Erickson

      In the unlikely scenario he was to sign with Dallas, Thomas would replace Lance Dunbars role, he isn’t what they want for early-down work. Dallas is more concerned with whose the starter not the 3rd-down back, and while Thomas could be an upgrade to Lance Dunbar, he isn’t worth making salary cap room for.

  • Devin Balkaran

    I’m shocked the Browns or Jags haven’t shown any interest in him yet.

  • EndZoneBlog

    Definitely will find work soon.

  • JustinKeithStrother

    I think somebody needs to sign Pierre Thomas one of the best all around backs its crazy that he is not signed at this point.what is nfl teams thinking he is the reason we have a super bowl. every down he’s in the game he produces in some way

  • JustinKeithStrother

    I hope we don’t keep losing but without our back Pierre Thomas it looks like it’s getting hard to pick up first down without protection and catching.he doesn’t drop a pass and he doesn’t fumble.I think he had 3 fumbles in 8 years. unbelievable. he just needs a place to shine.