Huard: Seahawks’ Earl Thomas, not Bobby Wagner, ‘disrespected’ by NFL Network’s Top 100
Seahawks two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner was surprisingly left off the NFL Network’s annual Top 100, but if you ask 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard, that’s one of the things the list got right. Ranking All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas at No. 66, though, was not.
The list, which is voted on by the NFL players themselves, saw Thomas take a tumble of 45 spots from his No. 21 ranking in 2015. There are certainly reasons one could see for that, including that Thomas underwent shoulder surgery for a torn labrum following Super Bowl XLIX, and the fact the Seahawks’ secondary was less stable as a whole in 2015 with strong safety Kam Chancellor holding out through the first two games of the season and cornerback Cary Williams’ subpar play eventually finding him released.
All that taken into account, though, Huard believes Thomas proved with his play that he is better than the 66th best player in the league.
“The most disrespected (Seahawks player) to me was Earl,” Huard said Friday on “Brock and Salk” during the daily Blue 42 segment. “I think Earl (was disrespected) coming off an entire offseason where he didn’t participate, coming off a significant shoulder injury, coming off of a group back there that was different with moving parts around him at a corner, at a safety to begin the season. And Earl by midseason and year’s end was the Earl Thomas that we got to know over his first five Pro Bowl seasons.
“Him in the 50s and 60s for the best free safety going? If any of them were going to be disrespected, he’s got the loudest voice.”
As for Wagner, who set or tied career-lows in sacks (0.5), solo tackles (67) and interceptions (zero) in 2015 after signing a four-year, $43 million extension, Huard believes he isn’t even the one Seahawks player left off the list with the best case to have been included.
“I’m sorry, Bobby. … I know you felt a level of disrespect,” said Huard. “I don’t think Bobby deserved to be in the Top 100. That’s just my own feeling, my own sentiment.”
When asked by Gee Scott if defensive lineman Cliff Avril, who was also unranked, was the honorable mention behind Thomas for most underrated Seahawk by the list, Huard had a very simple answer: “Yes.”