Seahawks’ S Earl Thomas says he’ll play Week 1
After a months-long holdout over a contract dispute, Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas alluded to a Week 1 return on Instagram Wednesday morning.
“I’ve never let me [sic] teammates, city or fans down as long as I’ve lived and I don’t plan on starting this weekend,” Thomas wrote.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson confirmed the news, tweeting that the Seahawks’ veteran told her he plans to report to the team’s facility Wednesday.
It will be the first return to practice for Thomas since he declared his holdout on June 10.
I worked my whole life for this….. I’ve never let me teammates, city or fans down as long as I’ve lived and don’t plan on starting this weekend. With that being said, the disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten. Father Time may have an undefeated record but best believe I plan on taking him into triple overtime when it comes to my career.
Thomas’ first voiced his displeasure with his contract situation at the Pro Bowl in January, telling ESPN he wouldn’t feel comfortable hitting the field in September without a new long-term deal.
At 29 years old, Thomas is entering the final year of a four-year, $40 million deal originally signed in April 2014. When Thomas inked that extension, he became the league’s highest-paid safety in terms of average salary ($10 million per year). As with any position in the league, though, that number has since been surpassed.
In February 2017, Chiefs’ safety Eric Berry, 29, became the owner of the biggest safety deal with a five-year, $78 million contract that comes out to about $13 million per year. Today, Thomas is the fifth-highest paid safety in terms of contract value, following Berry, Miami’s Reshad Jones ($60 million), Minnesota’s Harrison Smith ($51.3 million), and New England’s Devin McCourty ($47.5 million).
Is an Earl Thomas extension coming?
710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny O’Neil has noted that while Thomas isn’t wrong to seek a new extension, Seattle may be reticent due to a string of bad luck with similar deals. O’Neil took a look a how those deals panned out for defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, running back Marshawn Lynch and safety Kam Chancellor in this story.
Given that the team didn’t budge while Thomas held out also hints there’s no real progress on a new deal. Thomas noted as much in his post, adding: “The disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten. Father time may have an undefeated record but best believe I plan on taking him into triple overtime when it comes to my career.”
Thomas has been one of Seattle’s most consistent performers. In eight seasons, all with Seattle, he’s played in 121 of a possible 128 games and recorded 463 tackles, 25 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and three touchdowns. His return is a boost for Seattle’s young defense – and it could also spur additional trade requests. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Cowboys upped their offer for Thomas to a second-round pick as recently as last week.
Can Thomas play this Sunday?
Thomas is currently on the Seahawks’ Reserve/Did Not Report list, meaning the team will need to make a roster move to add him to the 53-man squad before Sunday.
Head coach Pete Carroll is scheduled to speak with the media Wednesday afternoon and may provide additional details then.