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The Brees-Thomas partnership is key to the New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl aspirations

Wide receiver Michael Thomas was just eight years old when quarterback Drew Brees first took a snap for an NFL team. But now, even though they are separated by an age gap of more than 14 years, the two have combined to form one of the most formidable duos in all of football.

By this point in the offseason, you would have no doubt heard that the now fourth-year wide receiver is not only well on his way to becoming the highest-paid wideout in the NFL, but is quickly closing ground on the likes of Julio Jones and Antonio Brown — the best wide receivers of this generation. Only Jones (94.3) has earned a higher receiving grade than Thomas (93.2) over the past three seasons (2006-18), while Thomas also ranks third in passer rating when targeted (116.8) and yards per route run (2.39) among the 82 wideouts who have run at least 900 routes since 2016.

The former Ohio State pass-catcher is also one of seven receivers with two single-season receiving grades above 90.0 in the PFF era (2006-18) — Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green, Odell Beckham Jr. and Thomas are the only wideouts who lay claim to the feat — while Thomas' three-year overall grade of 93.0 is the best mark ever recorded by a wide receiver in the first three years of his career.

Long story short, Thomas is on the kind of track that we've rarely seen here at PFF — and his connection with quarterback Drew Brees is a huge reason why.

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