Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas skipped practice twice last week. He will be fined for it. That comes after he skipped the entire preseason, and only showed up on the final day of Week 1 that allowed him to still collect his paycheck. So now he’s basically in a quasi-holdout situation, where he doesn’t bother to come to (some) practices but still shows up on gameday to play.
Thomas wanted a contract extension in the offseason, something that the Seahawks were reluctant to even consider. Thomas knows this song and dance already — the same one going on in Pittsburgh with Le’Veon Bell — and plans to play it for as long as he needs to.
“I need to make sure my body is 100 [percent],” Thomas said after Seattle’s Week 3 win over the Cowboys. “I’m investing in myself. If they were invested in me, I would be out there practicing.”
Despite missing practices, Thomas has been great. He was the top rated safety in the league over the first two weeks, and snagged another two interceptions in Week 3. There’s a lot of speculation that the Seahawks will finally cut their losses and trade him, possibly as early as this week. If that happens, Thomas doesn’t seem upset about it.
What’s your mindset now? Was this your last game as a Seahawk?
ET: I don’t know if it was, but I had a damn good time and I’ll go out like that if I have to.
Is there any part of you that is still hopeful that something can be worked out in Seattle or has that ship sailed?
ET: I just want to be appreciated.
And you don’t think you’re appreciated here by this organization?
ET: I mean, show me.
The Cowboys were reportedly close to finalizing a trade for the 29-year-old in the offseason, but couldn’t quite come to terms with the Seahawks on compensation. A recent report says the Cowboys and the Chiefs are both making new inquiries for Thomas, and some of the Dallas coaches even teased Thomas during their game, asking if he was “ready for the trade tomorrow.”
Thomas makes $10 million this year, and knows that his next contract will likely be his final big payday in the NFL before age eventually wins over youthful production. And he is doing everything he can to make sure he’s healthy enough to sign that next contract, even if it means being fined for missing practices.