Earl Thomas wanted a long-term contract with guaranteed money from the Seattle Seahawks, and the star safety was carted off the field in Week 4.
The Seattle Seahawks were actively shopping Earl Thomas to teams on the trading block, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported early on Sunday that Seattle isn’t budging from their asking price of a second-round pick. Sadly, it looks like Thomas may not be traded this year, because he exited the Seahawks Week 4 game against the Arizona Cardinals with a serious injury to his left leg, as per the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
As Thomas was carted off the field in the fourth quarter, he shot a middle finger towards Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (the link provides the video). This is in reference for the organization failing to take care of a star who helped them win a Super Bowl and appear in another championship game two years later. Thomas has been a “glue” guy for the vaunted Seahawks defense during the franchise’s best years, and he felt that Seattle should have taken care of him in case of a serious injury.
That possible season-ending injury has happened, and it is a huge blow to Thomas financially. The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract, and he had been holding out of Seahawks practices, likely out of fear of being injured in practice. Those fears turned into reality against Arizona, and all eyes will be glued to Thomas’s status. We can only hope he’s OK, but his reaction is an indication that fans shouldn’t expect good news.
It’s a sad situation for Thomas, and this might be the last image of his time in Seattle, despite all of the triumphs and interceptions. Thomas has been one of the best players in the NFL for years, and many observers called the speedy strong safety the most valuable defensive player on one of the greatest defenses in NFL history.
The interest in Thomas on the trading block is gone now that he’s injured, and he’ll be faced with hitting free agency as a soon-to-be 30-year-old safety coming off of a major injury. If the Seahawks signed Thomas to a long-term deal, he would’ve had financially security. Instead, he received hatred from some fans, the stigma of being a holdout, and has now lost a great deal of money due to this injury.
Seattle has struggled to start the 2018 season, and losing Thomas won’t help matters. Bradley McDougald has emerged at safety, and the Seahawks could still make the playoffs if the offense shows signs of improvement. Those are a lot of “ifs,” though.
Thomas’s days in Seattle are almost certainly numbered, and the man he likely flipped off on Sunday, head coach Pete Carroll, could also leave if this leads to a downward spiral for his team.
I’m betting there will be plenty of comments made on both sides after this gesture from Thomas, who is clearly frustrated after everything he’s fought through these past months, beyond the fact that he just suffered a painful injury.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has held out for similar reasons as Thomas, and he has yet to feature in any games out of fear of falling to the same fate. Bell likely feels vindication after watching Thomas’s misfortune, and I wonder how this impacts his feelings and the Steelers current trade talks surrounding the running back.
At this point, Thomas’s health comes first, so the hope is that he’s avoided anything too serious in the final year of his contract.