Just a few minutes after the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, All-Pro safety Earl Thomas was in the Cowboys' tunnel talking to Dallas head coach Jason Garrett. Even while Seattle had kept their playoff hopes alive, Thomas was already looking ahead to the offseason. The six-time Pro Bowler clearly asked Garrett "come get me" when it came to his expected free agency.
The footage of Thomas' pitch to Garrett was captured on video. The audio is a little muffled, but you can clearly hear the most important part.
Uploaded by Sports And News on 2017-12-25.
Thomas is under contract for 2018 but has major potential to be released by the Seahawks. In the final year of his deal, Earl is due to count $10.4 million against Seattle's cap and would only cost $1.9 million in dead money if cut. With Thomas turning 29 in May, he checks most of the boxes for the typical cap casualty.
One box that Earl Thomas does not check, though, is declining performance. He is still one of the top safeties in the game and returns to the Pro Bowl as a starter next month.
If he is a free agent this Spring, Thomas will be attractive to many teams. As a native of Orange, TX and a former Longhorn, it's no surprise that Earl would like to come home and play for the Dallas Cowboys.
The real question is if the Cowboys would have room for Earl Thomas. The Cowboys are poised to go into next year with plenty of young talent at safety; Byron Jones, Xavier Woods, and Kavon Frazier are all here and veteran Jeff Heath has two years left on his contract.
That said, adding an elite player like Thomas shouldn't be off the table. As this season showed, the Cowboys clearly need more on both sides of the ball if they want to get back to the Super Bowl. Thomas would not only upgrade the secondary but add veteran leadership to help the development of their young players.
If Earl Thomas was signed, Dallas could consider moving Byron Jones back to corner. That would allow them to cut Orlando Scandrick and still be deep at CB with Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown.
Of course, this is all contingent on Thomas actually being available. He seems to think he will be based on those words with Jason Garrett, but it's still up to the Seahawks to make the first move.
It's also important to remember that signing a 29-year-old safety, even one of Thomas' caliber, goes against the Cowboys' current philosophy regarding free agency and the salary cap. If they stay true to form, it's unlikely that they would give Earl the kind of contract he'll be looking for given his age.
With our eyes already turning to the offseason after Dallas' season-ending loss to the Seahawks, this is just the first of many free agency nuggets we'll be considering over the next few months. We'll have to wait a while to see if Earl Thomas gets his wish.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
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