The New Orleans Saints signed one of their free agent running backs today, hours before the original CBA agreement deadline was set to begin.

Surprising to many, Pierre Thomas agreed to a 4 year deal worth $12 million. Last offseason, Thomas sought more money from the Saints when he was a restricted free agent. Eventually he signed a one year tender, but experienced a nagging ankle injury throughout the season. The Saints medical staff misdiagnosed the injury, leading Thomas to rehab the wrong way, thus, furthering the extent of the injury. Offseason surgery was a necessity for Thomas, due to the wear and tear on his ankle, which was originally diagnosed as an ordinary sprain.

The public perception was that Thomas would wait until a CBA was agreed upon, then test the open market if he was an unrestricted free agent. Pierre consistently claimed he had no hard feelings toward the Saints organization, despite the misdiagnosis, and his head coach calling him out in the media during the season. Sean Payton expressed frustration toward Pierre and his approach to rehab, even though he was only rehabbing the way the Saints medical staff instructed him. Apparently, Thomas was honest in his claim of no ill will toward the organization, as he signed his contract today.

When healthy, Thomas is arguably the best screen play running back in the league. He is a play maker, reliable the passing game as both a bloker and receiver. He can break tackles when running between the tackels and in short yardage situations. Thomas was a vital member of the 2009 Super Bowl championship team, not to mention a fan favorite.