Seahawks Insider Blog

Earl Thomas, in Ireland, says he's going to be rich, happy whether he plays for Seahawks, elsewhere

As he begins the second week of his holdout from Seahawks training camp, All-Pro safety Earl Thomas goes online again, this time to explain why he is staying away.
As he begins the second week of his holdout from Seahawks training camp, All-Pro safety Earl Thomas goes online again, this time to explain why he is staying away. joshua.bessex@gateline.com

Earl Thomas says he doesn't know if he will still be a Seahawk for the 2018 season.

"Nobody knows," he says.

Speaking Friday in studio with Ireland's national independent talk radio show "Off the Ball" following his NFL tour of Dublin, Thomas commented on his contract ending after next season—and on reports his home-state Dallas Cowboys and multiple other teams remain interested as Seattle fields trade offers for its three-time All-Pro safety.

"Hopefully, I stay (in Seattle)," Thomas, who turns 29 in May, told Off the Ball, while seated next to former NFL defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. "Right now, I don't...nobody knows. It's a guessing game. So, we'll see."

He was asked how he deals, emotionally, with the uncertainty of where he is going to be playing this year, the final one of his contract, and beyond.

"In my case, whether I am in Seattle or anywhere else, I am going to be rich and happy, regardless," Thomas said.

"So, it's a cutthroat league, but if you are at the top of your game and you don't give them any reasons to devalue you, you're good."

Then Thomas shrugged.

His Irish host liked that.

"That's not a bad outlook," he deadpanned, to Thomas. "'I'm going to be rich and happy, no matter what happens.'"

While listening to trade offers that have yet to make them act, the Seahawks have been talking to Thomas' representatives on a possible extension beyond 2018. There were talks as recently as this month's NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Thomas hinted at January's Pro Bowl he may hold out from the start of next season if he doesn't have a new deal by the time it starts in September, or before.

He knows that any team wanting to trade for him won't do so at Seattle's steep price—believed to be a first-round draft choice, a third-round pick and maybe a player on top of that—to have Thomas for only this year. He knows any acquiring team would have to work out an agreement on a contract extension with him, at this point, at or near his price.

And that price is high.

Thomas has stated he wants to be paid at or near the top of all safeties in the NFL. He particularly noticed last year when Eric Berry, who was in the same 2010 draft class as Thomas, signed for six years at $13 million per season with $40 million guaranteed.

"I saw Eric Berry get that huge deal. There ain't never enough of that," is how Thomas put it last Aug. 1, at the start of his eight Seahawks training camp before what became his sixth Pro Bowl season at free safety.

Thomas told his Irish host it's "definitely going to weird" seeing now-former Seahawks teammate and fellow "Legion of Boom" star Richard Sherman playing cornerback this year for the rival San Francisco 49ers, after Seattle waived its former fellow cornerstone this month. But Thomas says he and Sherman will remain great friends—and that in fact Thomas is heading from his visit in Ireland to Sherman's wedding next week in the Dominican Republic.

"So the relationship's always going to be there," Thomas said. "You can't throw away the great times that we had."

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