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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: Earl Thomas is top punt returner

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: Earl Thomas is top punt returner Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that safety Earl Thomas will be the team's primary punt returner. Thomas is listed as the No. 1 punt returner on Seattle's depth chart.

Thomas, who is entering his fourth season with the Seahawks, has never returned a punt in an NFL regular-season game but did return four punts for an average of 14.5 yardsover two seasons at Texas. Thomas returned four punts for 68 yards in the preseason.

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The three-time Pro Bowler and four-year starter recorded 78 tackles and five interceptions while leading the Seahawks to a 13-3 record in 2013. This offseason, Thomas signed a four-year contract extension reportedly worth $40 million, making him the highest-paid player at his position.

Seattle opens the season Thursday against the Green Bay Packers.

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