Former Seahawks Legend Earl Thomas Could be Released by Ravens
The Seahawks owed a lot to Earl Thomas. He was the first member of the vaunted "Legion of Boom" defense. He made the Seahawks' Cover 3 and Cover 1 scheme go, as his presence in center field made the defense dominant. The first-round pick produced at every single turn and Seattle awarded him accordingly, at least the first time they had the opportunity to do so.
But the relationship began to sour after the 2016 season. Thomas was unhappy and demanding a new contract. After a game against the Cowboys, a Seahawks victory, Thomas ran towards the Cowboys locker room and famously told then-coach Jason Garrett to "come get me." And the drama didn't stop there. The ensuing offseason, the Seahawks attempted to trade Thomas and reports seemed to indicate the team was willing to take a second-round pick from the Cowboys, but a deal never materialized.
But John Schneider kept working the phones and just minutes before the Week 4 kickoff, it appeared that Schneider had found a suitable offer. But as it tends to go, disaster struck. Thomas would suffer a broken leg that required him to be carted off the field and Thomas decided he was going to let coach Pete Carroll know how he felt, extending his middle finger towards the Seahawks sideline. Unfortunately, it was his last act as a Seahawk.
The writing was on the wall long before Thomas gave his famous one-finger salute, but if there were any residual feelings that the relationship could be salvaged, it was torched on that Sunday afternoon. The following offseason, Thomas got his wish and was handed a massive three-year contract from the Ravens and played solid football for the 14-2 AFC regular season champs.
But below the surface, tensions bubbled in the Ravens' locker room. Resentment grew as Thomas was "free-styling" on defense (not sticking to the design of the play call). Teammates talked to Thomas to no avail. With frustrations boiling over, Thomas' future with Baltimore is in serious doubt.
Yesterday appears to have been the final straw after Thomas threw a punch at safety Chuck Clark in practice. A report from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that the Ravens Leadership Council has "made it clear to decision-makers that they prefer Thomas not to be around." Thomas was not seen at practice today.
For some fans, this will be seen as vindication for Pete Carroll, who refused to throw Thomas, or any disgruntled players for that matter, under the bus even as those players tried to salt the grounds at Carthage and publicly criticize their Hall of Fame coach. Others will undoubtedly ask the question, "Why not bring him back?" But any way you want to spin this, let's not forget an obvious fact: Earl Thomas is in a bad place.
Perhaps it is just a professional disagreement. A divorce that was needed for both parties, similar to his separation from Seattle. But anytime a future Hall of Famer is bouncing between teams every year, it does have to raise some concerns for Thomas the human being, especially after he was allegedly held at gunpoint by his wife Nina back in May for sleeping with other women.
We do not yet know how things will play out for Thomas and the Ravens. If he is cut, he will surely have suitors. But his recent behavior is going to be a concern for some teams as Thomas has been discarded by two of the best run and most respected organizations in football in consecutive years.