Three-time All-Pro safety Earl Thomas has yet to report to Seahawks training camp, and he says the reason is simple: he wants the security of a long-term contract.
In an Instagram post in July, Thomas sent a message to the Seahawks: pay him or trade him to a team willing to commit to him long-term.
The safety is asking the Seahawks to trade him or offer an extension so that his future is secured beyond the $8.5 million remaining in his final season on his four-year, $40 million contract. On Thursday, Thomas took to the Players' Tribune to explain "what's actually going on."
"If you’re risking your body to deliver all of this value to an organization, then you deserve some sort of assurance that the organization will take care of you if you get hurt. It’s that simple," Thomas wrote. "This isn’t new, and this isn’t complicated. It’s the reason I’m holding out — I want to be able to give my everything, on every play, without any doubt in my mind."
Thomas, 29, is asking for an extention that would protect him against injuries and provide additional financial security.
He points to Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman's season-ending achilles injury last year as evidence of what can happen.
"Of course, we all know what we’re risking every time we take the field. But that Thursday night game really cemented in my mind the truth — which is that your entire life can change on one play," he wrote. "And when it does, no matter what you’ve accomplished in the past … you can still get cut without even so much as a negotiation. That’s what happened to Sherm. One of the all-time greats. And I know it could happen to me too."
Thomas says he's ready to play, but only for a team who wants him as part of their long-term plans. The six-time Pro Bowler doesn't want the risk of an injury or release on his radar.
"I’m standing strong when it comes to getting what I deserve," Thomas said. "I’ve been one of the best defensive players in this league for the better part of a decade, and the numbers show that this team plays much better with me than without me."
His current contract makes him the sixth-highest paid safety in the NFL. In 14 games last season, he compiled 56 tackles and two interceptions. Thomas is one of the few standout players remaining from Seattle's Super Bowl winning defense, with Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril now off the team.