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Why GM John Schneider’s comments make Seahawks trading Earl Thomas much less likely

Earl Thomas is entering the final year of his deal with the Seahawks. (AP)

It was just over a week ago that the likelihood of the Seahawks trading Earl Thomas saw a significant jump, a result of the Dallas Cowboys making salary cap room by cutting star wide receiver Dez Bryant.

As this weekend rolled around, though, that likelihood has fallen to a percentage even lower than before.

O’Neil: Can Cowboys offer Seahawks enough to get Earl Thomas?

Seahawks general manager John Schneider said Thursday to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore that he’s been told Thomas won’t hold out from required offseason activities even though the All-Pro safety wasn’t present this week when involuntary workouts started at Seahawks headquarters in Renton.

“I met with his representatives (at the NFL combine) and we had great conversations, so everything seems to be fine,” Schneider said in an interview from an event in Bellevue for Ben’s Fund. “… I was informed that he would not hold out. That that was not his intention, according to his representation.”

The next day, each member of Danny, Dave and Moore explained how they interpreted Schneider’s comments and why they now think a trade of Thomas, who is entering the final year of his contract and has publicly stated his desire to sign a contract extension before the 2018 season, is much less likely than previously thought.

Here’s what Danny O’Neil, Dave Wyman and Jim Moore said about the situation.

Danny O’Neil

• “I think a trade is very unlikely given what Schneider said (Thursday), the fact that they’re not feeling forced into that. Now, to be the devil’s advocate, if you were gonna trade him, you would not want to appear at the end of a sharp blade. You would not want people to think that Earl’s told you he’s not going to show up, because that reduces whatever leverage you think you might have. … But I’ve never known John Schneider to be someone who is manipulative or misleading in what he says. He’s a guy that (instead) will go quiet and will not necessarily talk or respond to requests.”

• “Right now is the posturing side of the negotiations on both sides. … The fact that the two sides haven’t dug their heels in, I think is very positive.”

• “My ideal situation for the Seahawks and Earl Thomas: him to play this final year of his contract and then you revisit it at the end of the year. That you don’t leverage anything more into the future, to try and keep him at the stage your team is at, at the age he’s at, and he’s still getting a good salary. And if he’s willing to play for that, absolutely be able to revisit this 12 months from now.”

Dave Wyman

• “(Schneider) said that very confidently. I don’t think he would have said something like that if he didn’t have a really good idea that that’s what going to happen. … I’ve gotten to be pretty good friends with him, and I never hear from him during this time of year. … He’s one of those guys that, he keeps things pretty secret. … I just think that says a lot. That eased my fears about Earl Thomas quite a bit.”

• “It sounds like both sides really trust each other, because if you’re John Schneider, it would probably make you look pretty bad if (Thomas) did hold out after you just said that.”

Jim Moore

• “It sounded like Earl’s representation knows where the Seahawks stand. Just the way it was worded led me to believe that, ‘OK, this is where the Seahawks are, this is how much they want to give you in an extension, Earl. If you like it, great, but we’re probably not going to move too far off of this number that we’ve given you.’ … Just based on the fact that he’s not going to hold out, maybe it’s closer to that $13 million number (that Eric Berry, the highest-paid safety in the NFL, makes per year).”

• “Now with this news it sounds to me like it’s 10 or 20 percent that they’re gonna trade him.”

You can hear the full segment in this podcast of Danny, Dave and Moore’s show Friday. To hear Schneider’s interview from Thursday’s show, click here.

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