There is a dark cloud surrounding the Seattle Seahawks as safety Earl Thomas is holding out for a contract extension and the Seahawks are unwilling to negotiate. Thomas has already held out of voluntary workouts and put out on social media that he wants to know his contractual future. But the question remains if he will continue to hold out during the regular season, demand a trade, or be willing to sign an extension in the middle of the season.
It is no surprise that Thomas is taking the hold-out approach. This is a common tactic many stars take when they believe their contract is not worth their value. Thomas is set to have a $10.4 million hit. But with Kansas City’s Eric Berry set to make $13 million, Thomas may feel cheapened by his contract, even if he’s the 4th highest paid safety in the league.
The Seahawks are prepared for Thomas’ holdout if it extends into the regular season. With Kam Chancellor projected to be back, backups Delano Hill or Bradley McDougald can take over the free safety position. Seattle has faired decently when the star is off the field. But an extended absence can risk Seattle’s playoff hopes.
If Thomas decides to play for the 2018 season, it is reasonable to assume a contract extension by week 6. Seattle may only offer a 3-year extension worth $36 million. It won’t make him the highest paid safety, but a contract with a high guarantee like Russell Wilson’s may be enough to get him to pen a deal.
There is no denying Thomas’ influence on an off the field. His leadership is missed, but the Seahawks are in the business of winning. If sacrifices must be made to manage their cap and get wins, so be it.