- Where is Earl Thomas going to play next season?
- The Seahawks are dangling the star safety, but there have been no takers yet
- Thomas is one of several high-profile holdouts from training camp
It appears that the best safety of this current generation (and it’s not even close, really) can be had. The team that has him wants to move on from him, and assuming he is 100% healthy, he will instantly improve whatever defense he goes to by leaps and bounds.
Which begs the question: What the hell? Why is Earl Thomas still with the Seahawks and holding out of training camp?
The all-world safety has let it be known already: He’s down for Seattle – if they want to ante up. If not, it’s time to cut ties and keep it moving.
Let’s check the odds.
Odds Earl Thomas Gets Traded By End of 2018-19
The situation has devolved to where the two sides are apparently not even talking. Thomas, for his part, has been seen this week at his alma mater, the University of Texas, watching summer practices.
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) August 10, 2018
He still is contractually obliged for one more season, and the Seahawks are not into just dumping salary. If you believe reports, Seattle is looking for a bounty that includes a first and third-round draft pick.
It’s probably why we’re hearing things like this:
— Yahoo Sports NFL (@YahooSportsNFL) August 9, 2018
Regardless, let’s spin the old crystal ball and try to find Thomas a match.
Top NFL Safeties By Salary
|Player||Total Salary Value||Average Per Year||Guaranteed||All-Pro Teams||Pro Bowl Teams|
|1. Eric Berry||$78m||$13m||$29.8m||3||5|
|2. Harrison Smith||$51.25m||$10.25m||$15.278m||1||3|
|5. Earl Thomas||$40m||$10m||$14.225m||3||6|
THE MOST OBVIOUS
This has been the longest standing rumor since Thomas chased down head coach Jason Garrett after a Seahawks-Cowboys game.
Earl Thomas runs to greet Jason Garrett, then as he walks into the COWBOYS lockerroom, he says, “If you have a chance to get me, come get me.” pic.twitter.com/N395wVU2Jz
— Edward Egros (@EdWithSports) December 25, 2017
And while the Cowboys could definitely use an upgrade at the safety spot (again, who couldn’t?), the once-aggressive star-chasers seem to have put things in perspective. Or at least left Jerry Jones to do figurehead stuff, and the football people to do the football stuff.
So what’s the deal with Earl Thomas and the Cowboys? A team official tells @TheAthleticDFW: “It’s a lot of media hype. Seattle not giving him away and we’re not overpaying.”
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) July 18, 2018
At this point, Thomas should probably trademark “Come get me.”
— Las Vegas Raiders UK ???☠️ (@RAIDERNATlON) August 14, 2018
Jon Gruden’s Super Bowl-winning team once featured an All-Pro safety in John Lynch, and he could again grab that franchise piece to stabilize a shaky secondary. Only the Browns surrendered a higher completion percentage of passes to their 68.1% and they were seventh in yards allowed per game at 241. But consider the optics: acquiring Thomas means they’re going to likely secure him long term, and they have their own hold out right now in Khalil Mack. I’m sure Mack is watching.
New England Patriots
It’s so Bill Belichick to make this move in the last week of the preseason. And it makes sense. This was a defense that poured yards and points to Nick Foles and the Eagles in a Super Bowl loss. This is the closing chapter in the Patriots’ dynasty. Thomas could be the difference in delivering one more ring.
According to the folks at Overthecap, there are currently 18 teams with the cap space to absorb a $10.4 hit in a trade. The Browns are flush with cap space, and, laugh all you want, they have carved out a really nice offseason. Their pass defense is middle of the pack in most categories, but they did rank next to last in interceptions and allowed QBs to pick them apart with a 68.6% completion rate – dead last in football. Cleveland fans are in dare-to-dream mode right now.
Browns sign Dez and trade for Earl Thomas and that team is very very scary……… #SuperBowlBrowns
— Sean Reed (@3PointShooter_3) August 12, 2018
They have the cap space, and they have the young assets to couple with a first rounder (think one of them young defensive line boys). This is coming from nowhere other than I want to watch Thomas, Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye cover the field, while the Jags send insane blitz packages after the QB.
There’s still time to make moves, and even if he doesn’t get traded through the preseason, Thomas will, at some point, have to report to the Seahawks. It might only be a showcase in the regular season to prove he’s still a peak performer, before he gets shipped out. But bet on it happening.