No deal for Thomas? Expect a trade then

Salary cap logoWe never thought the Seahawks would dump Michael Bennett or Richard Sherman this offseason, simply because it made no sense to do so. But they did. And now it looks like Earl Thomas will follow them, even if that makes no sense either.

For most of this offseason, the word on Thomas has been that the Seahawks want to keep him but would accept a very favorable trade.

At the owners meetings in Orlando, John Schneider again reiterated the Seahawks are listening to offers for the safety, but he also strongly hinted he is not inclined to give a second extension to Thomas.

Schneider apparently has decided he no longer wants to gamble on third contracts for core veterans. He said he and team contract negotiator Matt Thomas are not talking to Thomas’ agents about an extension and will instead focus on extending younger players.

“There are a number of guys that we have coming up that have one year left,” Schneider said. “Earl: This would be his third contract.”

That is the second time Schneider has mentioned the concept of a third contract as though it is a non-starter. At the combine, he said extending a highly paid veteran with a year left is “a little different situation than when you have a guy coming off his rookie deal and then you are just going on a second contract.”

Schneider obviously has changed his approach after being burned by extensions for established stars Marshawn Lynch, Kam Chancellor and Bennett. Schneider was never going to extend Sherman, even if he had been healthy, and it sounds very much like he has no interest in paying Thomas top dollar again either. Both Schneider and Pete Carroll emphasized that Thomas has one year left on his contract.

A big part of the disinclination to keep Sherman, Bennett and Thomas has to be Schneider and Carroll finally growing tired of the griping and distractions. They put up with tons of that during their 2012-16 playoff stretch — from the constant insubordination of Lynch and Sherman to contract bitching from Chancellor and Bennett to Thomas’ mutinous move in Dallas.

The Seahawks clearly are done with all of that. They quite obviously are trying to reset their culture, to bring in guys who won’t violate Carroll’s top two rules: Protect the team and don’t complain. And the Hawks obviously don’t care whether they get much, or anything, for any of them.

Thomas has said he wants to remain in Seattle. But he also has said he wants to be the highest-paid safety and will hold out if he isn’t.

If Schneider doesn’t want to pay Thomas, he obviously has to trade him. So expect Thomas to be dealt by draft day.

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3 thoughts on “No deal for Thomas? Expect a trade then”

  1. I like reading your posts. But there seems to be a serious disconnect between you and the seahawks philosophy. The seahawks JSPC want to treat (pay) their players in a fair and just manner. They also want their players to express themselves freely. It makes the seahawks a preferred destination for players in all type of situations (drafted, undrafted, second chance, veterans). That pays dividends in terms of the contracts -there is a definite seahawks discount at work. And in tems of players wanting to come. Keeping players that outperform their rookie contracts and rewarding them with life changing generational second contracts is a vital part of that. Third contracts are more problematic. They have not yet found a perfect formula…but are looking for it. It has to do with the fact that the health risks for older players rise….and that they want to have some form of insurance against that…longer term guaranteed contracts. I do believe that JSPC understand that and agree with it in principle. I for one do not mourn the money we owe kam chancellor for example. He literally risks his life out there…and takes huge risks with his life and body. The money we still owe him is a fair way of sharing of that risk between him and the seahawks. All actions this offseason show that JSPC are staying the course of just and fair treatment. Look at the reason they cut sherman early, or the way they released shead without having too. I also believe that the reason bennet ended up in philly had not only to do with a promise made to the eagles but also with bennet‘s preference.

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    1. I wonder if this will change the way they give out 2nd contracts. They generally like to extend with one year left on there rookie deal then give out a 4 year extension. After 7 years you have these conversations. If the 2nd contract is the more traditional 5 year extension you can get that extra year. You still only would have to guarantee really the first two years. Just a thought.

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    2. Thanks for your comment, Frans.

      There is no disconnect here though. Their philosophy has been very obvious. We all have seen it. But they are now straying from their MO, cutting and trading stars. It’s about more than money. It’s about Pete Carroll’s rules. There is no reason to have cut Sherm, traded Bennett and shopped Thomas — unless Carroll is tired of being undermined and wants only guys who follow the rules going forward. They won’t say it, but that is a huge part of this makeover. And it makes sense, even if the timing and method of blowing up this defense does not make sense.

      There has been no Seahawks discount for their own guys. Sherm, Thomas, Wagner, Wilson, Wright, Chancellor, Lynch have all been paid among the top two at their positions. No discounts. The Chancellor deal was bad, guaranteeing $12 million if the injury-prone player gets injured. That’s a big part of why Bennett was traded, too — he had a similar injury guarantee and Schneider surely didn’t want to get caught with his pants down again next year.

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