Pierre Thomas (American football)

Pierre Thomas

refer to caption

Thomas at the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl XLIV victory parade
No. --Free agent
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-12-18) December 18, 1984
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Lansing (IL) T. F. South
College: Illinois
Undrafted: 2007
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 16, 2015
Rushing yards: 3,779
Rushing average: 4.6
Rushing touchdowns: 28
Receptions: 335
Receiving yards: 2,687
Receiving touchdowns: 12
Player stats at NFL.com

Charles Pierre Thomas Jr. (born December 18, 1984) is an American football running back who is currently a free agent. He was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He played college football at Illinois.

Early years

Thomas played high school football at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing, Illinois, where he ran for 5,565 yards and 88 touchdowns in his career. He was twice named to the all-state teams of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times and as a senior he was player of the year for the Champaign News-Gazette.[1] Some of his self-taught practice for high school football included running up a steep hill with a backpack full of books on and pushing cars around.[2]

College career

He was recruited by the University of Illinois.[3] He led the team in rushing for three seasons. In 40 games he ran for 2,545 yards (6th all-time in Illinois history) and 20 touchdowns, had 57 catches for 411 yards and 3 TDs, and a total of 4,451 all-purpose yards (then second all-time at Illinois).[1] Nevertheless, he was not invited to the NFL combine, and ultimately he was not selected in the 2007 NFL Draft.[4]

College statistics

Year GP–GS Rushing Receiving Kick Returns
Att Yards Avg TD Long Avg/G Rec Rec–Yards Avg TD Long Avg/G No. Yards Avg TD Long
2003[5] 6–0 43 233 5.4 2 35 38.8 3 12 4.0 0 8 2.0 7 134 19.1 0 29
2004[6] 11–11 152 893 5.9 8 69 81.2 14 95 6.8 1 34 8.6 25 677 27.1 1 99
2005[7] 11–11 121 664 5.2 5 35 60.4 28 225 8.0 1 52 20.5 20 461 23.0 0 48
2006[8] 12-11 131 755 5.8 5 62 62.9 12 79 6.6 1 23 6.6 7 223 44.6 0 75
Career 40-33 453 2,545 5.6 20 69 63.6 57 411 7.2 3 52 10.8 59 1495 25.3 1 99

Professional career

New Orleans Saints

Thomas signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent, on the recommendation of special teams coach Greg McMahon, who had previously been an assistant at Illinois.[4] He was impressive in preseason games and the Saints ultimately decided to keep him while releasing the running back they had chosen with their fourth round draft pick, Antonio Pittman.

Thomas developed into an all-around threat as a runner, pass catcher, blocker, and special teams player. He led the team in rushing yards in 2008 and 2009 and again in 2013, when he also led all NFL running backs in receiving yards. He became known for his excellence in executing the screen pass;[9][10] it was a screen pass on which he scored the Saints' first touchdown in their 31-17 win over Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV, two weeks after he had scored two touchdowns in the Saints' 2009 NFC Championship game victory.[4]

He signed a new four-year contract before the 2011 season,[4] and in March 2014 he signed a two-year contract extension, ending widely reported speculation that he might be released due to team salary cap problems.[11]

On March 4, 2015, the Saints released Thomas, making him a free agent.

San Francisco 49ers

On November 3, 2015, Thomas was signed by the San Francisco 49ers.[12] He was cut by the 49ers on November 10, 2015, after only playing one game against the Atlanta Falcons.[13]

Washington Redskins

On December 11, 2015, Thomas was signed by the Washington Redskins.[14]


Thomas was born on Chicago's South Side, the son of Charles and Greta Thomas. His parents divorced a few years later and Greta moved with her children to Lynwood, Illinois, where she worked for the United States Postal Service.[15] He has been reported to be of Haitian descent.[16][17][18]

Charitable activities

In 2013, he was the Saints' team nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in acknowledgment of his extensive charitable activities, including his iCan Foundation, which fights childhood obesity.[19]


  1. 1 2 New Orleans Saints bio for Pierre Thomas (accessed 2014-12-17).
  2. Triplett, Mike (2010-02-06). "New Orleans Pelicans' Pierre Thomas has plenty to smile about". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
  3. "Pierre Thomas". The Fighting Illini. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2013-03-30.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Greg Bishop, "Healthy Running Back Has Saints Recalling Title Run", The New York Times, January 11, 2012.
  5. Totalfootballstats.com. "2003 Illinois Fighting Illini". Totalfootballstats.com. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  6. Totalfootballstats.com. "2004 Illinois Fighting Illini". Totalfootballstats.com. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  7. Total Football Stats. "2005 Illinois Fighting Illini". Totalfootballstats.com. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  8. Total Football Stats. "2006 Illinois Fighting Illini". Totalfootballstats.com. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  9. Mike Triplett, "Brees: Thomas NFL's best all-purpose back", ESPN.com, July 30, 2014.
  10. Chris Wesseling, "Pierre Thomas tops New Orleans Saints' RB depth chart", NFL.com, August 5, 2013.
  11. Ramon Antonio Vargas, "Stop fretting, Saints fans: Pierre Thomas is staying put, agent says", The Advocate, March 12, 2014.
  12. https://twitter.com/CLamontSmith/status/661572592021540865 Pierre Thomas to the 49ers
  13. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/11/10/49ers-cut-pierre-thomas-to-make-room-for-travaris-cadet//
  14. "Redskins Sign Pierre Thomas". www.redskins.com. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
  15. Sean Jensen, "Finally, A P-T Player", Chicago Sun-Times, February 6, 2010.
  16. "These Days, Everybody's All-American Just May Be a Haitian". Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  17. "NFL urges contributions to Haitian earthquake relief". Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  18. Hirstius, Harry, ed. (4 March 2015). "Pierre Thomas Will Always Be a Saints Legend". Big Easy Believer (Fansided). Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  19. Mike Triplett, "Saints nominate Thomas as Man of the Year", ESPN.com, December 10, 2013.

External links

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