New Orleans Saints tight end David Thomas has earned the respect and high praise of his teammates. Mike Triplett, of the Times-Picayune, has the story, below.

New Orleans Saints tight end David Thomas

David Thomas has spent the past two years working in the shadows of more high-wattage New Orleans Saints tight ends Jeremy Shockey and Jimmy Graham. But he certainly hasn't gone unnoticed in-house.

Quarterback Drew Brees called Thomas "one of the best teammates I've ever had."

And though Thomas, 27, is scheduled to be a free agent whenever the NFL lockout ends, Brees and Saints Coach Sean Payton have made it clear that he is a big part of their plans, especially now that Shockey is gone.