Earl Thomas is putting the pressure on the Seattle Seahawks for a new contract, saying he will not participate in any team activities until his contract situation is resolved.
That includes the upcoming mandatory minicamp.
The three-time All-Pro safety posted a lengthy statement on social media Sunday, saying he wants “certainty in regards to the upcoming years of my career,” before he takes part in any Seahawks related activities. Thomas is entering the final year of his current deal signed before the 2014 season. He is scheduled to make $8.5 million in base salary in 2018.
Seattle opens its minicamp on Tuesday, and Thomas could face fines of about $84,000 if he skips all three days. Last week, coach Pete Carroll said he expected all players that had been skipping the optional team workouts — most notably Thomas, defensive end Frank Clark and cornerback Byron Maxwell — would be in attendance for the minicamp.
Clearly Thomas has a different idea of where things stand with the team that selected him No. 14 overall in the 2010 draft.
Thomas said after eight seasons he, “earned the right to have this taken care of as soon as possible.” Thomas has spoken openly of wanting a new deal since the end of last season, when some of his antics gave hints he wanted out of Seattle. In his statement, Thomas said he wants to remain with the Seahawks for the rest of his career.
Toward the end of last season there was some visible dissention. There was a brief rift with linebacker Bobby Wagner, who has become the vocal leader of Seattle’s defense with the departures of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Richard Sherman this offseason. And Thomas caught everyone’s attention when he chased down Dallas coach Jason Garrett following Seattle’s win in Dallas and told the Cowboys coach, “If they kick me to the curb, come get me.”
Seattle made the decision before April’s draft it would move forward with Thomas in 2018. Thomas was the one player under contract that could have landed Seattle a bounty of draft picks, but Carroll and general manager John Schneider held on to the star safety despite the contract uncertainty.
Thomas just turned 29 and was an All-Pro between 2012-14. Thomas had his 2016 season cut short by a broken leg, but he returned last year to play in 14 games with 88 total tackles and two interceptions.
“I’m going to continue to work my craft and put in work so that I can add to the team and give us the best chance to win,” Thomas wrote. “I hope my teammates understand where I’m coming from. I believe this is the right thing to do.”