Restricted free agents Pierre Thomas and offensive tackle Jamal Brown have been absent from the Saints voluntary OTAs because neither have signed their one year tender offer in hopes to sign a long term deal with the club. Thomas has been at the Saints facility participating in the conditioning program while Brown has not been participating in any of the team's offseason workouts.
The keyword about their absences is that OTAs are voluntary:
It's not clear how long Thomas and Brown plan to stay away from the practice field. So far, all of the team activities have been voluntary. The June 4-6 minicamp is the first mandatory team activity. The media will have its first access to the team during Thursday's OTA session.
Thomas has been rumored to be getting a long term deal from the Saints before training camp begins. His absence could not be related at all to his contract, because Thomas was visiting his cousin in Chicago who had been shot, but he did not ask to be excused from team activities.
As for Thomas, he is less likely to get a long term deal because he was out all of last year with a hip injury, and the Saints have more youthful players ready to step in to his position.