When Earl Thomas ended his holdout in September, just five days before the Seahawks’ season opener against Denver, he wrote on Instagram:
“… 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.”
One thing about Earl Thomas that we should have learned during his remarkable nine-year tenure with the Seahawks: He has an unwavering belief in his abilities. And his worth.
And another thing: He’s fiercely proud, and seems to hold perceived slights deep inside his heart, for the long term.
Put that all together, and then add a mental image of Thomas flipping off the Seahawks sideline as he was carted off with a broken leg just four games into 2018.
The upshot: You can almost certainly squelch the notion that the ever-changing dynamics of NFL free agency will include a scenario that directs Thomas back into the waiting arms of the Seahawks.
Now, the market may indeed be exploding around Thomas in ways that he didn’t anticipate as the new NFL year officially begins Wednesday, and free agency launches at 1 p.m. Pacific time.
Mind you, that’s when players can actually put pen to paper. We’re already in the middle of the so-called legal tampering period, where mostly bad teams leap into the fray and reach agreements with all the caution of Dee Ford rushing Tom Brady.
Thomas has a perceived desire to be the league’s highest-paid safety, which entering free agency was Eric Berry’s $13 million a year. That amount already has been smashed by Landon Collins’ reported six-year, $84 million deal with Washington, and Tyrann Mathieu’s three-year, $42 million deal with the Chiefs. (I said mostly bad teams.)
Suddenly, the benchmark is now $14 million a year, which would be in line with reports that Thomas is seeking $15 million a year. However, it is one thing to seek, and another to receive. The question that must be asked now is whether Thomas is over-reaching, which is an easy conclusion to come to.