Receivers Thomas, Parker get into it over poll

DeVante Parker‘s answer to an Instagram poll Monday night set off Michael Thomas and started a war of words between the wide receivers.

The NFL on Fox’s Instagram account asked: Which is tougher? A. Make a catch while guarded by Stephon Gilmore, or B. Break up a pass while guarding Michael Thomas.

Parker, who had a breakout year for the Miami Dolphins last season, answered “A” in the comments of the post, which didn’t sit well with the New Orleans Saints star receiver.

Thomas replied, “For you, yes. Go run some numbers up. Then you can talk. I lapped you and you been in the league longer than me, first-rounder.”

Parker responded: “Got some hard feeling there brotha??? Let me get targeted 300 times a game.”

Thomas continued the spat by writing: “In other words, you weak. They don’t even put your name in the same sentence as me. Remember that!” and “You still not going to do nothing. It took you six years and 17 weeks to have a good game. GTFOH. Blame your parents, not no QB.”

“Quit crying bra,” Parker told Thomas, including several laughing emojis.

After a few more jabs by each receiver, Thomas posted the final words, telling Parker, “You can’t even get a seat at the table.”

Thomas was drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft and has gone on to set records for most receptions in a single season (149 last year) and most receptions in a player’s first four seasons (470). He has led the NFL in receptions in each of the past two seasons and in receiving yards (1,725) last year.

Parker was drafted 14th overall by the Dolphins in 2015 but didn’t break out until last season, when he had 72 receptions for 1,202 yards. While Parker has caught passes from several different quarterbacks throughout his career, Thomas has played primarily with future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees during his four years in the league.

The New England Patriots‘ Gilmore was Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 and shut out Parker in their first meeting last season. Parker rebounded in Week 17, however, catching eight passes for 137 yards in Miami’s 27-24 upset victory that cost the Patriots a first-round bye.

Thomas is known for being fueled by any perceived slight, and he has never been shy about challenging someone on social media or on the field.

Thomas also got into it on Twitter with cornerback Josh Norman after a game against the Washington Redskins in 2018. And earlier this year, Thomas appeared to relish in the Minnesota Vikings’ playoff loss one week after the Vikings eliminated from the Saints.

Thomas was asked about his competitive edge and his comments to Parker during a teleconference on Tuesday morning to discuss his latest charitable donation to frontline healthcare workers in New Orleans.

“At the end of the day, you just want your respect. I value respect,” Thomas said. “And when you put in the work, I feel like you deserve to think like that and be like that — keep everybody honest. I’ve always been taught to keep everybody honest. At the end of the day, we’ll find out who was right and who was wrong. So just keep everybody honest around you — and that doesn’t just mean the people that’s talking. That’s also yourself too. So if you’re gonna talk it, you’ve gotta definitely walk it, too.

“And I like that type of pressure. I’ve been doing it my whole life, so it’s pretty much whatever for me. I like to see how people feel. Then I like coming out and doing my thing and seeing how they feel after that. And then if they still feel the same way, something’s wrong.”

ESPN’s Mike Triplett contributed to this report.

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