Earl Thomas may want to stay with the Seahawks, but Seattle should be looking to unload the veteran safety before training camp begins.
Earl Thomas may want to stay with the Seattle Seahawks this season, but the team is under no obligation to bow to his wishes. Instead, the Seahawks front office should be looking to trade the veteran safety before training camp begins.
Various reports claimed the Seahawks were actively shopping Thomas during last week’s NFL Draft. The reported asking price for the physical safety was a second-round pick. Not surprisingly, no team was anxious to give up a pick that high for a 29-year-old safety in the last year of his current contract.
Predictably, Seahawks’ general manager John Schneider is signing a much different tune now. He admits there were teams interested in acquiring Thomas during the draft, but now he believes the veteran wants to stay in Seattle.
Thomas and his representatives have been conspicuously silent on the subject of his future with Seattle. It’s widely believed that Thomas wants a new deal with the team before training camp begins. Otherwise, a holdout is a legitimate possibility.
The Seahawks cannot afford to be held hostage by Thomas’ demands. Instead, they should be proactive about the situation. That does not mean they should hand him a massive new deal. Instead, they should move him before their training camp begins.
That likely means Seattle will need to lower its trade demands. Expecting to get a second-round pick in exchange for a safety who is about to become very expensive was always unrealistic. The Seahawks would field a lot more interest in Thomas if they dropped their asking price a couple of rounds.
What the Seahawks need more than anything at this point is additional draft capital. They need to completely turn the page on the Legion of Boom. The likes of Thomas and Richard Sherman meant a lot to the franchise over the past few seasons, but the NFL is not a sentimental league. The Seahawks were right to let Sherman walk and now it’s time for them to help Thomas out the door.
The simple truth is that Seattle could easily find a cheaper replacement in the current free-agent market. Eric Reid comes with some baggage, but he’s still a competent NFL safety. Kenny Vaccaro isn’t the same level athlete that Thomas is, but he can certainly pack a punch against the run.
Thomas has been a really good player for the Seahawks, but his time in Seattle has passed. The team needs to move him for a mid-round draft pick before he has a chance to become a training camp distraction.