HOUSTON - Earl Thomas was once an All-Pro safety, and a couple of times in recent years the Houston Texans have flirted with the idea of bringing the Texas native and University of Texas Longhorns legend aboard.
One thing that keeps getting in the way: Thomas' personal troubles, and conflicts in the locker room and beyond that ended his time first with the Seattle Seahawks and then with the Baltimore Ravens.
But at least one former teammate stands by Thomas - and wants to bring him to the Texans.
"Come to Houston, bro,'' is the message from new Texans center Justin Britt to Thomas, via Instagram.
Thomas, who will turn 32 in May, apparently liked the idea, at least in a social-media sense.
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Reports have suggested that numerous Texans players expressed their displeasure about the idea during the era of coach/general manager Bill O'Brien, helping to end that flirtation. The idea came up again last fall, when Thomas experienced an ugly falling-out in Baltimore, where he had been a full-time starter in his first season there, in 2019. At that time, Deshaun Watson seemed to be a Thomas fan ... though of course right about now, Watson isn't exactly a Houston fan.
Last year, Thomas sat out, and there are certainly behavioral questions as well as questions about whether he can continue to perform at what was once a Hall of Fame level.
But Britt, who signed with Houston this week after himself sitting out 2020 due to injury? Thomas has at least one believer there.