New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas is determined to do everything he can to prove he earned his record-breaking contract extension.
Thomas signed a five-year, $100million contract extension with the Saints, giving him the highest average sally of any receiver in the NFL.
After his big deal, Thomas ended his six-day holdout and reported to training camp for the Saints on Thursday.
"Now you're the highest paid, and now you gotta go earn it," Thomas told reporters. "So that's the biggest thing I'm trying to do. I'm trying to earn every penny of it.
"I had to control what I could control. ... But just being a competitor and wanting to be the best, I feel like if you set high goals and you attack 'em, there's rewards at the end of it."
Thomas explained he followed his agent's "coaching" through the negotiating process, who advised him to hold out until he received a deal he was happy with.
The two-time Pro Bowler also said it did not bother him that other top receivers (like Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, A.J. Green and Tyreek Hill) are waiting for their extensions, which could raise the salary limit even higher.
Even though he was not practicing with his team, Thomas said he was still training just as hard in San Diego.
"Missing those reps, not competing against my team-mates ... that's part of developing into a great player," Thomas said. "And you can't do that sitting at home."
Saints head coach Sean Payton said it was good to have Thomas back on the field, while quarterback Drew Brees explained the 26-year-old's presence added a different element to practice.
"It's awesome, great to have him back. Knew it was only a matter of time, right?" Brees said. "So I think the timing's good, get him back in the fold. I think we're still at the beginning of our install for the most part. And he came in here today as if he's been here the whole time. So all good.
"You know that this is the part of the business at times, and you hope it doesn't drag on too long. You want to have all the guys here, all the members of the team. You want the whole band, right?"
Thomas has totalled 321 catches for 3,787 yards and 23 touchdowns over his first three seasons in the league. He had an NFL-best 125 catches for 1,405 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season.
|Rays use 24 strikeouts against Tigers to keep A´s at bay in wildcard race|
|Gruden: Brown will be practicing with Raiders soon|
|Red Sox place Sale on 10-day IL with elbow inflammation|
|Depleted Eagles add McCown to provide Wentz cover|
|Chargers safety James set for surgery on injured foot|
|Spurs set jersey retirement date for Tony Parker|
|Cardinals hit four homers to topple Reds in landslide|
|NFL news and notes: Defensive stars suffer serious injuries, Rivers will wait to address contract|
|James Harden a better scorer than Michael Jordan – Rockets GM|
|Billionaire Joseph Tsai becomes sole owner of Nets|
|Harper steals the show in Philadelphia, Indians trounce Yankees|
|NFL news and notes: Reid sounds off on Jay-Z, Chubb predicts fun ´antics´ in 2019|
|This Week in US Sports: Luck´s status in the air, Cousins suffers injury|
|Tony Romo: Cowboys can sign Prescott, Cooper and Elliott|
|Tom Brady says ´hell no´ to becoming coach|
|Los Angeles Lakers´ Cousins suffers ACL injury|
|Cubs´ road woes continue as series winless streak extends to 12|
|Beckham ´has a little bit of something going on´ – Kitchens|
|49ers QB Garoppolo throws five straight interceptions in practice|
|NFL news and notes: Luck´s injury somehow gets worse, Brady trash talks former team-mate|
|Antonio Brown: My feet are ´circumcised´ after freak injury|
|Seager´s three-homer game highlights Mariners´ win|
|Red Sox´s Sale fastest MLB pitcher to 2,000 strikeouts|
|Golden Tate´s appeal denied, Giants wide receiver will serve four-game suspension|
|Seahawks QB Wilson joins Sounders ownership group in MLS|
|NFL news and notes: Brown returns to Raiders camp, Clowney likely to be traded|
|NFL partners with Jay-Z´s Roc Nation for social activism campaign|
|Bills running back Wade hopes to hinge hype to roster spot|
|Indians inch ahead in AL Central race, Blue Jays win 19-4|
|LeBron wants to ´destroy as many people as possible´, says Jefferson|
|Team USA´s Lowry withdraws from World Cup|
|NFL news and notes: Matthews retires aged 29, Brown needs helmet backup plan|
|Brady doesn´t love new helmet: I don´t really have much of a choice|
|Raiders star Brown won´t be allowed to wear old helmet, arbitrator rules|
|Santana´s 10th-inning slam helps Indians tie Twins in AL Central race|
|Knicks have a ´killer´ in Barrett, says Williamson|
|Gruden: Raiders supporting Antonio Brown in ´personal matter´ of helmet grievance|
|Aquino crushes three more home runs as Reds inch closer in wildcard race|
|Mahomes plays one drive instead of a quarter after Chiefs´ touchdown|
|Mets´ ninth-inning rally stuns Nationals for seventh straight win|
|NFL news and notes: Brown brings drama to Oakland, Trump comments on Kaepernick´s video|
|Brown threatens to quit playing over NFL helmet rule change - reports|
|Brown has gone ´radio silent´ on the Oakland Raiders|
|Celtics stars excited to play alongside new team-mate Walker|
|Slow your roll - Shurmur attempts to quell Jones hype after impressive Giants debut|
|Rugby union convert Wade calls 65-yard touchdown from first NFL touch ´best feeling in the world´|
|Yankees extend winning streak to nine games with Blue Jays victory|
|NFL preseason 2019: Three takeaways from first big night|
|Eagles QB Sudfeld to undergo surgery after breaking wrist|
|NFL news and notes: Bosa to miss preseason, Browns trade Johnson|
|Cowboys´ Quinn handed two-match suspension|
|Red Sox pitcher Price sidelined with wrist injury|
|Chiefs´ Patrick Mahomes breaking pre-season tradition, will play first quarter of opener|
|Cleveland Browns trade Johnson to Houston Texans|
|Yankees, White Sox to play at ´Field of Dreams´ site in 2020|
|Cubs cruise to big win over Athletics|
|Holiday discusses Pelicans trading Davis to Lakers, drafting Zion|
|Middleton and Lopez wish Giannis the best, just not against Team USA at World Cup|
|NFL news and notes: Kaepernick ´still ready´, Stills calls out Dolphins owner|
|Durant says ´nobody´ at Warriors pressured him to play in NBA Finals|
|Denied work for 889 days - Kaepernick ´still ready´ for NFL in workout video|
|Greinke picks up win in Astros debut|
|Cowboys are ´way far off as a team´, says Garrett|
|Ezekiel Elliott´s Cowboys contract ultimatum is ´news to us´ - Jones|
|49ers running back Jerick McKinnon activated from PUP list|
|Seahawks All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner sidelined after lower-body procedure|
|Kyle Lowry ‘would love to do a long extension’ with Raptors|
|Mets sweep doubleheader against Marlins, top .500 for first time since May|
|Cubs put Kimbrel on IL with knee inflammation|
|NFL news and notes: Jets say Darnold is stronger, Brady discusses situation|