TNT’s Gregg Bell on why Seahawks didn’t trade up into 2nd round, why they traded down again, why they didn’t trade Earl Thomas
As assured, as all signs around the team have been pointing for months, Earl Thomas remains a Seattle Seahawk.
"It's awesome," coach Pete Carroll said.
That was after the likelihood increased yet again Friday night of Thomas beginning the final year of his contract on the field for the Seahawks when the season begins in September.
He has said he will not be happy without a new deal. But it sure looks more than ever he'll be a Seahawk while he's unhappy.
Turns out, Seattle's appropriately steep price for Thomas—pretty much the moon, with a few stars thrown in—was far too high for any team to meet. As expected.
General manager John Schneider said following the second and third rounds of the NFL draft Friday night none of the calls he's fielded for weeks, through the first two days of this draft, were even worthy of any consideration for Seattle to trade its three-time All-Pro safety.
"Yeah, we talked to a number of clubs about him," Schneider said.
"Calls come in because it's 'out there,'" Carroll interjected.
"It's kind of out there, and you listen," Schneider said.
The Seahawks indeed listened—and told. They were believed to be seeking at least first- and a third-round draft choices and perhaps a player for their six-time Pro Bowl free safety. Thomas is entering the final year of his contract and may prove too expensive for the transitioning Seahawks keep next spring as he turns 30 years old. Friday morning, a report from NFL Network tried to keep the drum beating on a possible trade of Thomas said the Seahawks might consider second-round choices from Thomas' home-state Dallas Cowboys or anyone else.
Thomas walked to the Cowboys' locker room following Seattle's win at Dallas on Christmas Eve and told Cowboys coach Jason Garrett to "come get me." Thomas explained in the Seahawks' locker room a few minutes later he meant when "Seattle kicks me to the curb."
When I asked the GM if there was any offer that made the Seahawks even remotely close to trading Thomas, Schneider said Friday night: "No."
Carroll added: "Thrilled to have an All-Pro guy back here. Awesome."
"Earl's a great football player," Carroll said. "You may have looked at it like he wasn't going to be here. We didn't look at it like that. That's been a lot of speculation on your guys' end of this thing. We've been counting on Earl being here the whole time."
The talk of Seattle possible trading their starting safety since 2010 gained steam at the league's scouting combine in Indianapolis in March. Schneider said then there were no untouchables in potential trade talks on his changing team with a older core that is leaving piece by piece (Michael Bennett,Richard Sherman, Jimmy Graham, et al).
Thomas has said he wants at or near the top-paid safety in the league with his third contract beginning in 2019. That would be $13 million per year with $40 million guaranteed, what Kansas City gave Thomas' 2010 draft classmate Eric Berry last year.
Thomas hinted at the Pro Bowl in January he may hold out into the 2018 season if he doesn't get a new contract before then.
But Schneider said last week at his annual charity function in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue that Thomas' representatives have assured him Thomas will not hold out this year if he doesn't get a new deal. Schneider added he hadn't talked to Thomas' agents about a new combine in over a month, since the combine.
Finally, it appears the Northwest can ignore talk of Thomas being traded.
Now about that contract...