Russell Wilson defends Earl Thomas: ‘This is our livelihoods’

By David Kenyon

Earl Thomas’s absence leaves the Seattle Seahawks without a key defender, but quarterback Russell Wilson understands why the All-Pro safety is holding out.

While the signal-caller would undoubtedly prefer Thomas be with Seattle, Wilson acknowledged the simple, important reason his teammate wants a new contract, per Gregg Bell of The News Tribune.

“I think also, too, is that anytime in sports there’s business to it. I think a lot of people forget that. This is our livelihoods, and everything else. This isn’t just…it is fun, and it is games. But it’s not just fun and games, if that makes sense. It’s real life.”

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll isn’t so understanding, given his recent comment that “he should be here.”

Thomas, however, is entering the final season of his contract. He’s due $8.5 million this season, per Spotrac, and seeks long-term stability. At 29 years old, Thomas knows he’s likely reaching the last big-money deal of his career.

That’s why he’s been willing to sacrifice a bit of cash this offseason in hopes of guaranteed money in the future.

As the holdout lingers, the question becomes whether Thomas is willing to sit until Seattle acquiesces with an extension or trade, will return Sep. 9 for the regular-season opener or is prepared to not play at all.

But after the $1.6 million in fines possible this preseason, that would be a large chunk of money to lose.

For now, though, Thomas has the support of Wilson, Seattle’s most important player.