SEATTLE — All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas, whose future with the Seahawks is up in the air, is absent from the start of the team’s voluntary offseason workout program, according to Brock Huard of ESPN and 710 ESPN Seattle.
Thomas’ absence isn’t the least bit surprising given his situation. He’s entering the final year of his contract and has talked openly about holding out if he doesn’t get a new deal. The Seahawks, who have already moved on from Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett this offseason, have acknowledged that they’re at least open to trading him.
Thomas, who turns 29 in May, has regularly attended the Seahawks’ voluntary offseason workout program during his eight seasons with the team. Skipping them now is an apparent expression of his desire for a new contract.
He’s set to make $8.5 million in the final season of a four-year, $40 million deal he signed in 2014. It’s believed that Thomas is seeking a deal that matches or surpasses that of the Kansas City Chiefs‘ Eric Berry, the NFL’s highest-paid safety at $13 million per year.
Thomas’ mentioned a potential holdout to ESPN’s Michael DiRocco at the Pro Bowl in January.
“I want to finish my career there,” he said. “I definitely don’t see myself going out there not signed. But I’m going to continue to work my butt off and enjoy this process at the Pro Bowl.
“As far as my future in Seattle, I think if they want me, you know, money talks. We’ll get something accomplished. Other than that, I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
Seahawks general manager John Schneider told reporters at the league meetings last month that the team wasn’t currently in discussions with Thomas’ representatives about a new contract. Asked about Thomas being the subject of trade rumors, Schneider said the Seahawks were doing their due diligence in listening to offers and they wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they weren’t. That echoed what Schneider said at the scouting combine about the Seahawks being “open to anything.”
Thomas made his sixth Pro Bowl in 2017 and has been named a first-team All-Pro three times in his career. He appeared in 14 games last season after his 2016 season was cut short by a broken leg. Thomas, a native or Orange, Texas, made headlines after a Christmas Eve win over the Cowboys in Dallas when he tracked down Jason Garrett and told him to “come get me,” urging the coach of his hometown team to pursue him if we were to become available.