Along with Hawthorn's Lance Franklin, the 25-year-old midfielder is one of the biggest names who will be eligible for free agency once the season ends.
Franklin has ensured his future will be one of the big AFL stories of the year by deciding to put his talks with the Hawks on hold until after the season.
But Thomas said on Sunday his struggles last season meant he had to build some form before heading to negotiations with the Magpies.
"There's no point in me signing currently, coming off the year I had ... and just coming back from injury," Thomas told Channel Seven's Game Day.
"I'd like to think I will give myself a bit of time to get some form up, play some good footy and then start talking contracts.
"The club, I'm sure, would like to get my signature at the minute because it would be worth next to nothing."
Thomas is mindful that the longer he puts off contract talks, the more the issue will feature in the media.
He also made it clear his preference would be to stay with the Magpies, where the 152-game player is a fan favourite.
"The last thing I want is for it to become a circus.
"Hopefully it's at Collingwood and hopefully I play good-enough footy and everything pans out well."
But Thomas added about possibly going to another club: "never say never - I've got to get some money in my pocket".
After playing in Collingwood's 2010 premiership team and making the All-Australian team for the first time in 2011, Thomas was hobbled by injuries last year.
He managed 20 games, but clearly was struggling and needed off-season ankle surgery.
Thomas spent much of the off-season in a moon boot, but has returned to full training and hopes to play in round one.
That will no doubt depend on whether he is ready to play next weekend in the VFL.
"'Maxy' (captain Nick Maxwell) and the rest of the boys have been right into me about it because I've said all along I will try to play in round one," Thomas said.
"I've probably had the moon boot on for a lot longer than I would have liked, but things are progressing nicely."
Maxwell acknowledged he once thought Thomas was no chance to play in the season opener against North Melbourne on March 31, but had made strong progress lately.