Soon-to-be former Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas is going to be hitting the free-agent market here in the next couple weeks.
Thomas, 29, will do so after missing all but four games last season with a fractured leg. Despite this, the six-time Pro Bowler wants to become the NFL’s highest-paid safety.
“His (Thomas) goal is to become the highest paid safety in the NFL, topping the $13 million annual contract of Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, despite coming off a fractured leg that ended his 2018 season early, Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram reported.
This seems to throw cold water on the idea of Thomas returning to his native Dallas to play for the Cowboys. His representatives over at Athletes First had an unofficial meeting with the Cowboys’ brass during the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this week.
Thomas has been linked to the Cowboys more than any other team since noting last season that he’d love to return home.
But if he’s looking to become the NFL’s highest-paid safety, that’s certainly not in the cards. Dallas finds itself in a less-than-stellar cap situation and has to think about retaining the likes of Demarcus Lawrence, Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott long term. Given that Thomas is not open to providing the Cowboys a hometown discount, it’s unlikely they’ll end up signing him.
Thomas’ former teammate, Richard Sherman of the San Francisco 49ers, has been recruiting him big time this winter. San Francisco is in need of an upgrade at free safety and should have north of $80 million to spend under the cap once free agency opens.
Even then, Thomas’ belief that he should be the highest-paid safety in the NFL is convoluted by his recent injury issues. The market will dictate his ultimate value in free agency.