The saga of Earl Thomas's contract and the Seattle Seahawks front office took another turn Sunday morning when the perennial All-Pro safety made the decision via Instagram to hold out from the team's mandatory minicamp.
Thomas, who recently turned 29, is set to hit free agency after the 2018 season and is set to make $8.5 million this year. Since he is at the end of his initial four-year, $40 million deal with his guarantees paid out and his signing bonus proration's accounted for, there is little protection for him as a player. The front office could walk away from his contract this season at any time and save cap space and cash.
Thomas and his agents know that, which is why he's vying for a new deal. According to ESPN's Senior Writer Mike Sando, he doesn't seem to think Thomas will come away with what he wants. Or at least he doesn't think Thomas went about wording his recent statement the correct way.
It’s very difficult for an #NFL player to win the PR battle vs a team during a contract dispute even without issuing a statement whose five sentences begin with I, I, I, I’m and I.— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@SandoESPN) June 10, 2018
Honestly, the only semantics that matter comes down to the language that occurs between Thomas, the Seahawks organization and whatever is stated in a potential, new contract. To suggest this comes down to public relations is silly, and to hint that Thomas is being selfish is even more ridiculous considering all E.T. has done for the Hawks throughout his excellent eight-year career.
One championship, six Pro Bowls, leading the team's injured defense in 2017—it's clear that Thomas is not as selfish as Sando seems to be implying.
Would it be better if he says “you don’t pay me my worth”, “you need me”, “you should have come to the table to discuss this earlier”?— Joevahkiin (@Joooeeek) June 10, 2018
Let's not be naive, this is a league that caters to its young stars on the south side of 30 years old because the lifespan of an NFL athlete's playing career is knowingly short.
It's the cruel nature of the business, but one that Seattle and Thomas can hopefully find a way to overcome amicably.