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Earl Thomas Says “What’s Going On” in Player’s Tribune Piece

The Earl Thomas saga continues to play out as training camp continues and he’s yet to report to Seattle Seahawks practices. It’s been documented for months now his wish to receive a contract extension from the Seattle Seahawks, to continue his career in the only NFL city he’s ever known.

It’s been alluded to several times since that fateful day in Arlington when Earl Thomas came running down the tunnel to tell Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett, “if you have a chance, come get me.”

He saw the writing on the wall.

It was made even more plain as the Seahawks traded away Michael Bennett, released Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor retired. The “Legion of Boom” era in Seattle was over.

Now he’s looking to know that he has a part to play in the Seahawks’ future, or if not Seattle, somewhere else.

It’s been no secret that the Dallas Cowboys and the Seattle Seahawks have talked about an Earl Thomas trade, though how recently they’ve talked is up for debate. Stephen Jones, in the Dallas Cowboys pre-training camp press conference, stated the two teams hadn’t talked since the draft.

In a piece written today for the Player’s Tribune, Earl Thomas himself let it be known that his desire is to stay in Seattle, but if the Seahawks are unwilling to give him a contract extension, then he’d like to be traded.

“If you’re risking your body to deliver all of this value to an organization, then you deserve some sort of assurance that the organization will take care of you if you get hurt….. This isn’t new, and this isn’t complicated. It’s the reason I’m holding out…

“And it’s the reason why I’m asking the Seahawks to do one of two things:

“Offer me an extension.

“Or trade me to a team that wants me to be part of their future.”

Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks – The Player’s Tribune

Thomas’ main point throughout the piece is that there is little loyalty extended from NFL ownership to the players that drive the game and make the money. When a player has a down year, they’re asked to take a pay cut or outright released. When it’s in the best interest of the team, the player’s needs or desires are often thrown out the window for the sake of the salary cap or to clear up a roster spot.

All the while that player is pouring blood, sweat, and tears for the team, knowing that their contracts aren’t fully guaranteed.

Sure the game is more difficult and there can at times be such a dramatic drop in play that teams save themselves some outs on the back-end of deals by not fully guaranteeing contracts. That is why star players hold out though, because they know it’s their only leverage.

Earl Thomas knows that, no matter what he’s accomplished and what he still has left in the tank, teams are generally not going to look out for the player.

“I also have learned why I need to take care of this business side of things. In the NFL, no matter what you’ve done or what you’ve accomplished, teams are constantly reminding you that you don’t matter.

“I still remember back when Lofa Tatupu was the heart of our defense. Lofa was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever been around….. He was just straight up good at his job.

“And what did he get for all of that? After his sixth season with the team, they asked him to take a pay cut. When he said no, he was released.”

Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks – The Player’s Tribune

The NFL is both a game and a business.

Much like many of us would in our jobs, Thomas longs for security. None of us want to worry about where we’ll be working a year from now. We want to know that we have a place in a company that values us.

When it comes to a profession that has as short of a lifespan as the NFL does, players see the importance of capitalizing on their earning opportunities while they can. It’s why every season players hold out of training camp. It’s why Aaron Donald has yet to report to training camp.

Earl Thomas is one of the best, if not the best, free safeties in the NFL today. However, his contract ranks sixth in the NFL among safeties.

Players aren’t asking for anything more than what we’d want as well from our employer; loyalty. As Earl Thomas said, extend him or trade him.

Preferably the latter and preferably to the Dallas Cowboys.

If you haven’t already, I urge you to read Earl Thomas’ article for yourself at The Player’s Tribune.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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