Earl Thomas, future Hall of Famer, is hinting he could hold out this year. He wants more money. The good thing, though, is that he still wants to play in Seattle. This possible holdout could be a win-win.
Earl Thomas wants his money. Seattle is probably questioning whether they should pay him. Not because Thomas doesn’t hold a lot of value, he does. But because the Seahawks are thinking about tearing the house down.
Thomas is one of the best defensive players in football. And I don’t want to use the word “still.” Because Thomas is not old. The free safety will be 29 in May and that is not old. With luck, Thomas could have another four very good to great years with the Seahawks.
And Seattle cannot replace Earl Thomas. They can get younger and get enough talent back if they traded Thomas. But they will definitely not get another Thomas because his talent is rare.
So what if Thomas holds out for a contract extension? Will the Seahawks give in? Not likely. They didn’t do so with Kam Chancellor. John Schneider does not like to be forced to do something. In fact, he won’t be forced.
But Thomas holding out might make Seattle think differently about their long-term plan. They might even put feelers out to see what kind of picks they could get back for Thomas. But Thomas wants to get paid and he wants to get paid by Seattle no matter what he says about the Dallas Cowboys. And Seattle knows they won’t pick up another Thomas.
Instead of tearing up the current blueprint of the team, Seattle might choose to keep Earl Thomas. And maybe Richard Sherman. Because Seattle could easily lose the ability to be a championship contender without them and facing 2018 without Thomas would be bad.
Championship windows shut. But there is also no guarantee of success when a team rebuilds.