The canyon between the Seattle Seahawks and disgruntled safety Earl Thomas grows wider with every passing day.
The Seahawks placed Thomas on the reserve/did not report list on Thursday when it became apparent that he wouldn’t be arriving at the team’s pre-season training camp. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Thomas is planning to sit out the entire pre-season, and possibly even regular season games, until he gets a new contract from the Seahawks or is granted a trade to a new team.
Thomas is in the final year of a four-year, $40 million contract. When he signed the deal back in 2014, it made him the highest paid safety in the league. Still just 29-years-old, Thomas remains one of the best in the business. However, more recent contracts given to other players now leave him as the sixth highest paid safety in the league.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll told the media they expect him to report.
“He’s been here for a long time. We always expect him to be here. It’s kind of how it is. He should be here and he’s not,” Carroll said, according to Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio KJR. “It’s really about the guys that are here now and we’re going to keep moving and grooving and putting it together. It’s unfortunate.
“We’re expecting him back. He’s under contract,” Carroll added.
Thomas released a statement back in June threatening to sit out until his “contract situation is resolved.” The team can fine him $40,000 for every day of training camp that he misses, and can start fining him a percentage of his $1.9 million signing bonus if the hold out continues long enough. He will also lose his game checks (each one worth 1/17th of his annual salary) should he sit out regular season games.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Seahawks have informed Thomas and his representatives that they have no plans to negotiate with the grumpy defensive star. As far as the team is concerned, Thomas is under contract for the 2018 season and will be a free agent when it’s over. The team has no desire to offer Thomas an extension or a one-year raise.
Important note, as #Seahawks S Earl Thomas continues his holdout: Thomas & his reps were informed prior to offseason activities that the team was not going to address his contract, I’m told. It was specific and clear. Whether or not Thomas came in to camp has zero impact on it.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 27, 2018