Saints' Thomas rips Norman in Twitter tirade


A Monday Night Football feud between Michael Thomas and Josh Norman went from the football field to the locker room to Twitter, where the Saints receiver ripped the Redskins cornerback in a back-and-forth that carried well into the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Norman was one of several Redskins players to criticize Thomas after the Saints’ 43-19 victory Monday night.

“That guy — to speak on him, I will not waste my breath,” Norman said, when asked about Thomas. “I’m sorry. I will not. He’s not worthy of it. He never will be worthy of it.”

Thomas, in response to a Washington Post reporter’s tweet of Norman’s quote, tweeted after the game that he “made that boy check out after the first half,” referring to Norman’s brief benching in the second half.

Norman, in a tweet that has since been deleted, responded by accusing Thomas of “clout chasing,” followed by an emoji of a clown. Norman also stated that Thomas did not have a reception when the two lined up against each other and called Thomas a “blocking decoy.”

In a series of subsequent tweets, Thomas called Norman a “Zone Corner” and said that he is “going to bully you ever(y) time I see you.” Thomas also poked fun at Norman’s “cheap ahh suit” and said, “You 30 yrs old dude. Life comes at you fast.”

Thomas then called out Norman for deleting his tweets, calling him a “Goof ball con artist.”

Norman was joined in his postgame criticism of Thomas by Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger and cornerback Quinton Dunbar.

Swearinger accused Thomas of “petty stuff” and suggested that the Saints receiver would have been penalized if Drew Brees had not broken Peyton Manning’s all-time record for career passing yards Monday night.

“(Thomas) is just a clown — just clowning,” Swearinger said. “Just doing little petty stuff after the play. Petty stuff after the play the referees would call if this wasn’t history night for Drew Brees. But we had to fight against the refs and all that, too.”

Dunbar told reporters that Thomas was “pushing” and “hitting” Washington players after the whistle.

“He was just doing little slick s— after the plays, tapping you and doing little crazy stuff after the play trying to get you going,” Dunbar said. “Pushing, hitting, talking — doing all that.”

Dunbar said he thought Thomas’ actions were more “corny” than “annoying.”

“I don’t take disrespect well,” Dunbar said. “For you to keep hitting another man and going back to the huddle, who does that? Not hitting after the whistle, but tapping you as he’s going back to the huddle. Just little corny stuff.”

Thomas set the NFL record for most catches in the first two years of a career from 2017 to 2018 (196) and the most catches through the first three weeks of a season this year (38). He finished with 74 yards on four receptions Monday night.

Thomas is typically soft-spoken in interviews, but he isn’t afraid to show his bravado on Twitter — starting with his handle, “CantGuardMike” — though this is the most that a trash-talking battle has ever escalated with an opponent.

Thomas also seemed more fired up than usual for Monday night’s game. He wore a ski mask during pregame introductions, was dancing on the sidelines and firing up the crowd as the Saints’ rout escalated.

“I’m not a big fan of the ski mask honestly. I am a big fan of Mike, though, and how he plays,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “He is an emotional player, he’s tough, extremely dedicated, he works his tail off and there isn’t a more passionate player.”

ESPN’s John Keim and Mike Triplett contributed to this report.



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