Earl Thomas

Seahawks Won’t Negotiate With Earl Thomas

An Earl Thomas return to the Seahawks will have to be on his current contract, because the team has no intention of relenting in this standoff. 

The Seahawks have no plans to discuss a new deal with Thomas, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports. No negotiations are taking place, either, Condotta hears. Pete Carroll said he has not talked to his top safety this week.

Thomas has been away from the team throughout 2018, and the Seahawks don’t intend to allow him to return free of charge, either.

Unlike the NFC West rival Rams’ decision to waive Aaron Donald’s fines after his unsuccessful holdout concluded last year, the Seahawks do plan to collect fines from Thomas if/once he returns. The Seahawks will attempt to collect approximately $1.2MM from Thomas, Condotta reports.

Thomas said he won’t report to the Seahawks without a new deal, wanting either a trade or an extension. This impasse shows no signs of slowing down. Seattle may still want at least as second-round pick for its three-time All-Pro safety, Condotta notes, with Dallas still being the most likely buyer. The sides talked during the draft but could not strike a deal.

Although, the latest Seattle standoff with a safety hasn’t affected the team like the previous holdout did, per Condotta. Kam Chancellor’s 2015 holdout lasted for two games but occurred when the Seahawks resided as the defending NFC champions. They now appear closer to a rebuild than a Super Bowl run, and Condotta notes the Thomas issue has barely come up during Hawks camp.

Tedric Thompson has replaced Thomas with the Seahawks’ first-stringers, joining Bradley McDougald.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Notes: Thomas, Brown, Allen

Although Seahawks safety Earl Thomas today penned an essay in the Players’ Tribune regarding his ongoing holdout, the veteran’s piece hasn’t exactly changed the facts of the situation at hand, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. Not only have no new negotiations taken place, but no club has sent a viable trade offer for Thomas. Thomas, of course, is seeking either a new contract or a trade, but the Seahawks don’t seem particularly inclined to work out a fresh contract. Trade talks, meanwhile, have mostly been centered around the Cowboys, but nothing has yet come to fruition. Thomas, 29, is entering the final year of his current contract, during which he’s scheduled to collect a base salary of $8.5MM.

Here’s more from Seattle:

  • As noted above, the Seahawks aren’t likely to renegotiate Thomas’ pact any time soon, and that’s in part due to team owner Paul Allen, a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Allen “doesn’t get emotional or worried” about potential holdouts, per Florio, and that was evident during Seattle’s talks with safety Kam Chancellor in 2015. The Seahawks didn’t move an inch at that time, and Thomas’ holdout isn’t expected to result in a new deal this time around. Thomas, it seems, is willing to play hardball in order to land the contract he feels he deserves, but the Seahawks might be open to doing just the same.
  • More details are now available on left tackle Duane Brown‘s three-year extension with the Seahawks, as Brady Henderson of ESPN.com reports the veteran offensive lineman received a signing bonus of $8MM and a full guarantee of $16MM. Brown only gets $1.75MM of his 2019 salary guaranteed for injury, but it becomes fully guaranteed after the Super Bowl, meaning Seattle will need to make a quick decision on Brown’s future. Even if the Seahawks do cut Brown next spring, they’d be forced to carry $7.75MM in dead cap.
  • In case you missed it, Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin is dealing with a knee injury that could keep him sidelined for most of the preseason, although his availability for Week 1 of the regular season doesn’t seem to be in peril.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Thomas, Rams

On Thursday, safety Earl Thomas opened up about his standoff with the Seahawks. In an essay for The Players’ Tribune, Thomas indicated that he will continue his holdout until he gets a new multi-year deal or gets traded to another team that will give him one.

In the end, it’s like I said: If the Seahawks don’t intend on having me around for the long-term, then I understand,” Thomas wrote. “And if they want to start over and rebuild, then that’s their right — it’s part of the business. It’s not what I want … but I get it. All I ask, though, is that if that’s the case, and they don’t want me anymore — just please trade me to an organization that does. Please trade me to a team that wants me, so I can give my all to them for the rest of my career.

Thomas, who is still only 29, is insistent that he still has years of great football left in the tank. With six Pro Bowl appearances and three First-Team All-Pro selections on his resume, it’s hard to argue with him on that point. Still, the Seahawks say they will not address Thomas’ deal until after the 2018 season.

While we wait to see how that plays out, here’s more from the NFC West:

Seahawks Notes: Baldwin, Jordan, Thomas

Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin is currently dealing with a knee issue that will force him to miss a couple of weeks, coach Pete Carroll told reporters today.

“We’re gonna give him a couple weeks here before we bring him back out to make sure that we’ve ramped him back up properly,” Carroll said (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “He came into camp a little bit off and we just want to make sure that we take care of him. We know exactly what’s going on. He’s doing some special treatments to make sure that we’re taking care of him, and we want to bring him back into shape so we can really get him ready for the long haul.”

Meanwhile, Carroll didn’t sound as optimistic about the recovery of defensive end Dion Jordan, who is sitting on the physically unable to perform list. The head coach described the veteran’s injury as a “stress issue,” although the latest ailment isn’t attributed to Jordan’s offseason knee surgery.

“It’s gonna be a while,” Carroll said. “The word is it’s gonna be a while. He’s got a little bit of healing to do, so it’s gonna be a while.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Seattle…

  • Carroll also told reporters that there’s been zero communication with safety Earl Thomas (via The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta on Twitter). The veteran continues to hold out as he pushes for either a new contract or a trade, and reports have continually connected him to the Cowboys. However, we heard earlier today that Seattle wasn’t going to give away the Pro Bowler for nothing, while the Cowboys aren’t intending on overpaying to acquire Thomas via trade.
  • Peter King of Football Morning in America believes the most general manager John Schneider could get for Thomas would be a conditional 2020 third-rounder from either the Cowboys or Raiders. King even puts in specific conditions: if the safety makes at least 10 starts, Seattle receives a third-rounder. If he doesn’t, Seattle will receive a fourth-rounder.
  • Punter Jon Ryan, the longest-tenured member of the Seahawks, saw his team select fellow punter Michael Dickson in the fifth-round of this past year’s draft. While the 36-year-old understands that his stint in Seattle is likely coming to an end, he admitted to Condotta that the team’s selection also provided some motivation. Ryan also discussed how the punter’s holding duties could play a role in who makes the roster, especially since the Seahawks are auditioning a righty (Jason Myers) and lefty (Sebastian Janikowski) for their kicking gig. This sentiment was echoed by special teams coordinator Brian Schneider“That’s a huge part (of the job) and Jon’s been so consistent over the years,” Schneider said. “Dickson hasn’t done a whole lot of it, but he’s very talented. He’s got great hands, he’s caught a lot of balls, and so he’s done a really nice job, too.”

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Thomas, 49ers

There’s still no end in sight to the Earl Thomas/Seahawks drama. Thomas continues to insist he won’t report without a new contract, and that without a new contract he wants to be traded. The Seahawks won’t budge on extending him, but also haven’t complied with his trade demands. The Cowboys have been a frequently mentioned potential destination for Thomas, a Texas native, and Brady Henderson and Todd Archer of ESPN.com, the site’s Seahawks and Cowboys reporters, respectively, took a look at what it would take to get Thomas to Dallas.

Henderson notes that the Seahawks have the money available to give Thomas a new deal if they really wanted to, they just don’t have any desire to pay him longterm top-safety market as he enters his age-29 season. Archer notes the Cowboys are even less restricted by the cap, and could give Thomas any deal they want comfortably. Henderson says the Seahawks “aren’t going to give Thomas away for nothing despite the perception that they have no other choice.” The Seahawks are clearly intent on getting top dollar for the All-Pro safety in any trade, and it’s unclear if the Cowboys will be willing to pay it.

Archer writes the Cowboys “aren’t going to overpay”, that they’ve “held firm in talks”, and that it’s “basically a staring contest” between the two sides now. The start of the season is right around the corner, and any potential trade would have to happen relatively soon for Thomas to be able to get up to speed with his new team. It will be fascinating to watch to see which side blinks first.

Here’s more from around the NFC West:

  • The details on Duane Brown‘s new extension from the Seahawks are in. He’ll get $14.5MM fully guaranteed this year, an increase of nearly $5MM from what he was scheduled to make, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). The team could get out from under his contract fairly easily if they want after this year, as Rapoport notes only $1.75MM is guaranteed for injury in 2019.
  • Speaking of staring contests, the Rams and Aaron Donald continue to have one of their own. Although the two sides reportedly remain intent on getting a deal done, Peter King of NBC Sports writes he thinks “this Aaron Donald holdout could last into September. Easily.” That’s the last thing in the world Rams fans want to hear, but it sounds like Donald again missing regular season time isn’t out of the question.
  • Joshua Garnett could be cut by the 49ers writes Cam Inman of the Mercury News. Garnett was a first round pick in 2016, but didn’t play great as a rookie and missed all of last year with a knee injury. It’s always shocking if a first round pick is cut this soon, but it sounds like it’s a real possibility for Garnett, as the new regime in San Francisco has no ties to him.

Latest On Seahawks’ Earl Thomas

Prior to offseason activities, the Seahawks informed Earl Thomas and his representatives that the team will not address his contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Seahawks were specific and clear in delivering that message and Thomas’ participation in camp would not have altered their stance. 

Things could get ugly as Thomas may be willing to take his holdout into the regular season. With one year to go on his current deal, Thomas wants a multi-year extension that will position him as one of the league’s highest-paid safeties. If the Seahawks won’t give that to him, then he wants to be traded, possibly to the Cowboys.

Thomas is set to earn a base salary of $8.5MM this year while counting for $10.4MM against Seattle’s salary cap. It’s the final year of the four-year, $40MM extension he inked back in 2014, a deal that made him the NFL’s highest-paid safety at the time. Today, that deal puts him sixth among NFL safeties in terms of annual average value.

It’s common for teams to delay extension talks when a player has two or more years remaining on his contract. However, with a year to go, this should be the prime time for the Seahawks to discuss a fresh deal with one of their biggest stars. Given Thomas’ age and the weakness of the free agent safety market, the Seahawks’ valuation of Thomas is likely far apart from his own appraisal. Opening up contract talks with Thomas could make the relationship even worse, which is probably why the Seahawks are holding off.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks’ Thomas Willing To Miss Games?

It could be a while before we see Earl Thomas and the Seahawks reach a resolution. There’s a belief around the league that Thomas is preparing to sit out through training camp and into the regular season, unless he gets a new deal or is traded, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets

[RELATED: Cowboys Haven’t Discussed Thomas Trade Since Draft?]

Thomas is under contract with the Seahawks for one more season and is set to carry a $10.4MM cap hit. After celebrating his 29th birthday this offseason and watching the disappointing free agent safety market play out, Thomas is insistent on receiving a lucrative new contract now instead of next year.

The Seahawks have already lost several of their core defensive players this offseason and they can ill afford to start the year without Thomas. Thomas, who graded as the Pro Football Focus’ No. 9 ranked safety last year, has arguably been the league’s most consistent safety in the NFL since 2010.

To date, Thomas has spent his entire career in Seattle and picked up six Pro Bowl selections along the way. In 14 games last season, Thomas compiled 88 tackles, seven passes defended, and two interceptions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Haven’t Discussed Thomas Since Draft

According to one report, the Cowboys have discussed an Earl Thomas trade with the Seahawks in recent months. However, Cowboys executive Stephen Jones told reporters on Wednesday that the two sides have not talked about a deal since the draft (Twitter link via PFT’s Charean Williams). 

At this point, it’s hard to know whether Jones is telling the truth. What is clear, however, is that Thomas is still holding out hope of a trade if he does not get a new deal. This week, he is staying away from the club as training camp gets underway.

Thomas is under contract for one more season with a base salary of $8.5MM and a $10.4MM cap hit. When Thomas signed his four-year, $40MM extension with the Seahawks in 2014, he was the highest-paid safety in the game. Today, that deal puts him sixth in average annual value. Thomas either wants the Seahawks to restore his place atop the mountain or trade him to another team that will oblige.

For now, the Cowboys project to start Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath at safety.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Earl Thomas Not Reporting To Seahawks

As expected, Seahawks safety Earl Thomas is not reporting to training camp as he continues to demand either a contract extension or a trade, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Although the Seahawks don’t seem inclined to extend Thomas’ contract at this time, that doesn’t mean Seattle isn’t interested in a long-term deal down the road, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (video link). The 29-year-old defensive back only has one more season left on his current contract, so the idea of waiting for a fresh pact likely doesn’t hold any appeal.

However, Seattle would prefer that Thomas report to camp before any negotiations take place, a strategy that was used when the Seahawks dealt with fellow safety Kam Chancellor‘s contract last August. The Cowboys, notably, have been viewed as Thomas’ most likely landing spot if he is dealt, and Dallas has discussed acquiring the All-Pro safety in recent months.

Thomas is signed through 2018, when he’ll earn a base salary of $8.5MM and count for $10.4MM on Seattle’s salary cap. That salary is courtesy of a four-year, $40MM extension which Thomas signed in 2014, a deal which now makes him the NFL’s sixth-highest-paid safety in terms of annual value.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys Still Interested In Earl Thomas?

The discussions between the Cowboys and Seahawks about the price for Earl Thomas did not cease after the draft, with ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson reporting (via Twitter) the teams have discussed the safety in the months since.

Dallas and Seattle hit a wall when talking a Thomas trade on Day 2 of the draft, when the Cowboys used their second-round pick on Connor Williams instead of trading it to the Seahawks in a package for Thomas.

It’s unclear precisely what the Seahawks are asking for to send their top defender to the Cowboys, but Anderson notes it remains a “really high price.” Thomas is entering the final year of his contract and wants either an extension — likely one that would make him the league’s highest-paid safety — or a trade. The Cowboys have been by far the team most connected to the Texas native regarding a trade.

The 29-year-old All-Pro defender has not given any indication he will end his holdout soon.

The Seahawks have somewhat promising expectations 2017 third-rounder Delano Hill can team with Bradley McDougald, in the event of a Thomas trade, and form a solid safety tandem. But the Seahawks would inch closer to a full-scale rebuild by parting with Thomas after an offseason that’s seen four Super Bowl-era defenders exit.

Jerry Jones said after the draft the Cowboys were interested in upgrading at safety, following a weekend that did not include a safety pick. But nothing’s transpired on that front, and training camp is fast approaching. Jeff Heath and 2017 sixth-rounder Xavier Woods remain penciled in as Dallas’ back-line starters. Byron Jones has worked as a cornerback throughout the offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.