Earl Thomas apparently thinks he can get $15 million a year. But that’s pretty delusional, especially given the glut of good safeties in free agency this year.
Thomas got some big company on the safety market when the Giants decided against tagging star strong safety Landon Collins and Baltimore cut Eric Weddle. The safety class includes some excellent players: Thomas, Collins, Weddle, Tyrann Mathieu, Lamarcus Joyner, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Adrian Amos, Kenny Vaccaro.
Thomas is expected to lead that group, with one report projecting him to receive $13 million a year (we still don’t think it will be that high, not with so many safeties on the market at once).
Seattle has the ability to sign either (Collins will cost double Weddle), but pass rusher is a bigger need (even with Clark back) and Pete Carroll likes Bradley McDougald and his young safeties anyway. Seattle might add a veteran safety, but it likely won’t be Collins or Weddle or anyone who costs much or would detract from the progress of Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill.
As for Thomas, Dallas is interested, but not at anything near $15 million. Richard Sherman says “there’s serious interest” from Thomas in possibly joining the 49ers, but they surely would not pay that much either. “There’s obviously a clear and easy fit,” Sherman said, “(but) if the money’s equal, if all things are equal, he’s going to Dallas.”
Kansas City, Green Bay and Atlanta also have been mentioned as logical spots for Thomas, who seems unlikely to get the monster deal he wants but still figures to receive at least $10 million APY (Eric Reid got over $7 million).