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Steelers Given Long Odds to Sign Last Available Top Free Agent Wide Receiver

The Pittsburgh Steelers have long odds to sign Michael Thomas, who is the top remaining wide receiver on the free agent market.

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Saints WR Michael Thomas Steelers
METAIRIE, LA - JUNE 11: New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (13) works out on June 11, 2019 at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility in Metairie, LA. -- Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire

The Pittsburgh Steelers are not among the betting favorites to sign free agent wide receiver Michael Thomas, despite the team having a need for a No. 2 wide receiver and him being one of the few veterans remaining on the free agent market.
The Steelers have 40/1 odds to be the next team for Thomas, according to betting lines posted this week by SportsBetting.ag. Those are the 17th-best odds, with half the league more likely to be the next team to sign Thomas.

The Dallas Cowboys have best odds at 3/1, followed by the Buffalo Bills (5/1), Baltimore Ravens (6/1), Denver Broncos (8/1), Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs (10/1).

Despite their desire for a wide receiver to pair with George Pickens and interest in several of the top players the might be available on the trade market, the Steelers and general manager Omar Khan haven’t shown much reported interest in talking to free agent wide receivers this offseason.

The Steelers invited Mike Williams to Pittsburgh for a free agent visit before he signed with the New York Jets and exchanged figures with Tyler Boyd before he inked his deal with the Tennessee Titans.

The Steelers have stood pat as free agents such as Odell Beckham Jr., D.J. Chark, Zay Jones, Michael Gallup and Marquez Valdes-Scantling all signed elsewhere.

Thomas was one of the few other free agents that they’ve been in touch with, but it doesn’t sound like he’s expected to be coming to Pittsburgh any time soon.

Instead, they’ve shown interest in acquiring a receiver via trade, such as Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel or Courtland Sutton, but have not been able to make such a deal to this point in the offseason.

Thomas was released by the Saints in March, even after restructuring his contract in 2023. He was only set to make $1.21 million in base salary and a $2.2 million roster bonus. Thomas caught 39 of 6 targets for 448 yards and one touchdown last season.

RELATED: Steelers Named Best Landing Spot for Michael Thomas

Thomas is supremely talented, a two-time first-team All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowler. He led the NFL in receptions twice, yards once and was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2019. But he hasn’t played a full season of football since 2019. Thomas missed time with a high ankle sprain in 2020, missed all of 2021 after ankle surgery, all but three weeks of 2022 with a foot injury, and seven games last year with a knee injury. He also got into a fight with a teammate in 2020 and was arrested for battery in 2023.

Beyond Thomas, the rest of the free agent market is extremely thin, with Hunter Renfrow, Corey Davis, Russell Gage and Lynn Bowden among the top options.

The Steelers have been searching for a wide receiver to pair with Pickens since trading Diontae Johnson to the Carolina Panthers in March. They drafted Roman Wilson out of Michigan in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft, but he figures to play mostly in the slot as a rookie. Veterans Van Jefferson and Quez Watkins are the current top options to play outside receiver opposite Pickens on the Steelers roster.