There is only one Earl Thomas.
Or do you know of any other three-time All-Pros who walk into the opposing locker room of a team he just defeated and tell its coach “come get me” away from the other, victorious team that pays him?
That’s what Thomas did in the moments following the Seahawks’ 21-12 victory at Dallas on Christmas Eve that revived their season — and followed their years-long pattern of sideshow drama.
Thomas said he was going into the Cowboys’ locker room after the game to talk to friend Dez Bryant, Dallas’ star wide receiver. While there, Thomas saw Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
“I went to the locker room and talked to Dez — and I saw Coach Garrett,” said Thomas, who grew up five hours east in Orange, Texas. “I’ve always been a Cowboys fan growing up. The biggest thing is when I said ‘come get me,’ I mean, I don’t literally mean ‘come get me now.’ I’m still in the prime of my career. I still want to be here.
“But when Seattle kicks me to the curb, please, the Cowboys, come get me. That’s the only place I’d rather be, you know, if I get kicked to the curb.”
Thomas, who turns 29 in the spring, has one year remaining on his contract. It’s clear he wishes the Seahawks, the only NFL team he’s played for, would have at least talked by now about extending his deal for a second time. But the Seahawks also have three-time All-Pro Richard Sherman’s contract expiring as the cornerback comes off a torn Achilles tendon next season. They have salary-cap concerns and decisions to make on whether to re-sign Jimmy Graham, who caught his 10th touchdown pass of the season on Sunday.
They have major contract issues and decisions with those stars whose deals expire before Thomas’.
Not that he wants to wait.
Asked if he sees growing signs the Seahawks may not want him around much longer, Thomas said: “I don’t know. But if they don’t, you know, please come get me.”
Thomas signed a four-year, $40 million extension before the 2014 season. He played this season coming off a broken leg that briefly had him considering retirement the night it happened in December 2016. He is due $8.5 million next year, well below value in a safety market that has long since surpassed his contract.
Is Thomas happy in Seattle?
“Hell, yes, I’m happy here,” Thomas said. “I love being here. This is where I started. I built my resume here. I’ve got Kam (Chancellor) and Sherm, coach (Kris) Richard (Seattle’s defensive coordinator and his former defensive-backs coach). I don’t want to leave.”
Asked if he wished the Seahawks would have talked to him already about an extension, Thomas said, “Yeah. That would be a great Christmas present.
“I don’t know. I’m just going to keep ballin’. And hopefully they see the value.”
DeShawn Shead made his season debut 11 months after reconstructive knee surgery. The 2016 starting right cornerback and special-teams captain covered punts on special teams in the first half and was in on a tackle.
The team activated Shead on Saturday to the 53-man roster.
He began practicing three weeks ago, and this weekend was his last opportunity to play or else Seattle would have had to put him on injured reserve.
Rookie Shaquill Griffin started again at right cornerback.
Shead played on the kickoff, kickoff return and punt-coverage teams.
“It was great being back, playing with my brothers again. It’s been a long journey, a long road,” he said.
“The grind of hard work paid off.”
LACY’S MOTHBALLING (CONT.)
The cementing of how failed a signing Eddie Lacy was continues.
The Seahawks’ list of inactive players for Sunday’s elimination game at Dallas included Lacy. Seattle’s splashiest offseason signing at $2,865,000 guaranteed has gained just 179 yards this season. Sunday was the fourth time he was inactive, three times while healthy. Those are the fifth-year veteran and former Green Bay Packer’s first healthy scratches of his career. He’s been active but did not get on the field in two other games.
Keeping Lacy inactive for the second time in three weeks saves the salary-capped Seahawks another $62,500. That’s the per-week bonus Lacy has in his one-year contract for being active for games.
Frank Clark started and had one of Seattle’s four sacks of Dallas’ Dak Prescott, with a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits. The Seahawks had added their starting defensive end to the injury report Friday as questionable to play with a new toe injury.
EXTRA POINTS: The rest of Seattle’s inactives at Dallas included defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson, rookie cornerback Mike Tyson, center Joey Hunt from nearby Texas Christian University and special-teams mainstay D.J. Alexander (concussion). … The Seahawks sustained no new injuries that they immediately reported.