Don’t expect Thomas for minicamp

Logo -- OTAsDespite Pete Carroll’s wishful thinking, it looks like Earl Thomas probably won’t show up for minicamp in June.

Thomas has told Bradley McDougald he’ll be back — but only “when they get things worked out.”

“He’s let me know that he’ll be back when the time is right and when they get things worked out,” McDougald told John Clayton on 710 ESPN. “That’s his personal business when it comes to his contract and things, but he’s reassured me a couple times that he’ll be back.”

Yeah, but when? It doesn’t look like anything is getting worked out.

Despite Carroll’s optimism and Thomas’ agents apparently telling John Schneider the safety wouldn’t hold out, Thomas made it clear at the Pro Bowl in February that he would not report without a new deal.

“I definitely don’t see myself going out there not signed,” said Thomas, who is under contract for one more season. “I think if they want me, you know, money talks.”

According to Schneider, there hasn’t been much talking since the Combine. Just before the draft, Schneider said Thomas’ agents “know where we are at’’ regarding Thomas’ contract and “nothing has changed” since they talked in Indianapolis.

Schneider has strongly hinted the team is uninterested in paying Thomas at the top of the market — $14 million APY. And the best he has said about Thomas’ status is: “He is (on the team) right now. I mean, he’s on our roster. … He’s under contract.”

With Thomas out, McDougald is working at free safety in OTAs, “in case anything does happen, for safety assurance.” He said he is focusing on “getting more range in my game,” reading the quarterback, getting better breaks off the ball and lining up coverage of receivers.

“When (Thomas) does get back,” McDougald said, “I’ll get back into my groove of being in the box (at strong safety).”

If Thomas does not come back, though, the 27-year-old McDougald could end up being the leader of the secondary in just his second season in Seattle, leading a new starting quartet that could include Delano Hill alongside corners Shaquill Griffin and Byron Maxwell.

McDougald said Kam Chancellor, whose career is thought to be finished, has encouraged him to take a leadership role.

“There’s a lot of young guys in the back end. They’re very talented, but they just need guidance,” McDougald said. “Now that (Chancellor and Richard Sherman are) gone and until Earl gets back, it’s kind of my secondary and I have to carry these guys.”

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3 thoughts on “Don’t expect Thomas for minicamp”

  1. It’s a tough call whether to pay Earl. $14M/yr is top dollar for the position, and there’s no way that ET is as good at the end of a new contract as at the beginning. It’s hard to see him lasting past the second year.

    On the other hand, there’s only one Earl Thomas, and building a bridge defense around him and Bobby Wagner makes a lot of sense.

    The team response is puzzling. Thomas max trade value was before the draft; it’s going to nosedive if he holds out. Possibly they’ve decided to call a bluff, although that seems risky in this case.

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  2. He can only hold out half of the season. At that point you trade him for a conditional pick to the worst defense in the NFL and watch his value nosedive. Earl has almost no leverage and if he is willing to hurt the team like Kam did, then he will deserve it. I do think he deserves to get paid, but with the cap situation as it is right now, I am not sure they can give him much. I would say 2 years, 25 million fully guaranteed.

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    1. I never get where this “hurting the team” thing comes from. A player has no responsibility for roster construction — that’s the GM’s job. You might as well say that JS is hurting the team by not working out a new deal with Thomas.

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