So what’s an All-Pro like Earl Thomas worth in trade?
No, I don’t think Earl Thomas will be traded. But as long as people are talking about crazy trade values, I thought we’d jump in too.
Let’s be clear. It just isn’t very likely that Earl Thomas will be traded by the Seahawks, despite his talk of a holdout. Yes, he did make that interesting shout-out to Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. You know, the shout out he explained here.
Figured some of you wanted to get riled up again. You might take note that Thomas said, “it’s the only place I’d rather be IF I get kicked to the curb.” Emphasis added.
Talk of a trade between the Seahawks and Cowboys has heated up lately. I mean, who wouldn’t want Earl Thomas on their team? Well, possibly the Seahawks, but that would strictly be a financial issue. I’m pretty sure if the Seahawks could figure out how to make Thomas the highest-paid safety in the league, they would. You know, if they had to.
With the First Pick
Let’s address the Cowboys issue first. According to spotrac.com, Dallas has $20 million in cap space. Does it really make sense for the Cowboys to cut Dez Bryant to save $8 million in cap space, then give Earl Thomas over $13 million a year? That’s the figure Jason Fitzgerald of overthecap.com sees it will take to keep Thomas. I’d do it if I were in their shoes. But I’m not, and I don’t think they will.
But a lot of other teams do have the cap space. The 49ers have $79 million, for instance. If you were wondering, yes, the thought of Earl Thomas in scarlet and gold makes me ill. So expunge that thought. Let’s entertain the idea that Seattle does decide to move Earl Thomas, just someplace else. What should they ask for him? More importantly, what can they expect for him?
Earl Thomas has to be worth more than a backup quarterback, right?
Most of the chatter you’ll see sets the trade value of the All-Pro at a second round pick, plus perhaps a third. Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times sees it differently, as he shared this on his excellent Seahawks Mailbag:
"I’d imagine the Seahawks would want to at least get a first, and then maybe something else thrown in, as well.The National Football Post published a good list a few years ago detailing 10 years of trades of players for first-round picks, which includes the likes of Randy Moss, Carson Palmer, Jason Peters and Darrelle Revis, and two in which it was Seattle acquiring a player — receivers Deion Branch (2006) and Percy Harvin (2013).Thomas objectively is as good as any player on that list and would seem to be worth at least as much, though obviously every case has a somewhat different dynamic — age of player, contract status, the situation (or desperation?) of the team making the trade.But to me, it’s hard to fathom they’d take less than a package that included a first-round pick or what could be regarded as the equivalent."
I’d argue that Earl Thomas is better than any player on that list, with the exception of Randy Moss. And why do I keep seeing Percy Harvin’s name pop up? Stop it, universe. Just stop it. Anyway, if they were all worth first round picks, Thomas certainly will be worth it to.
Just to throw in a bit of absurdity, I thought I’d throw in some of the rumors regarding the trade value of a certain backup quarterback. Sure, Nick Foles had a big hand in winning the Super Bowl, but he’s still a backup quarterback. I mean, any 12s out there want to trade Foles for Russell Wilson? Nah, didn’t think so.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King doesn’t think the Eagles will move Foles for less than two first round picks. Yes, he really wrote that. No, wait, it gets better. Former Colts GM and media guy Bill Polian said that Foles … he said… man, I just can’t write this without cracking up. Read it for yourself:
I’m thinking Howie Roseman will hear the end of the world before he hears that deal. I like Foles, but let’s remember this is the same guy who posted a passer rating of 79.5 in the regular season, and went 4 for 11 for 39 yards against Dallas. He was considering retirement after a terrible season with the Rams back in 2015. Then again, he was playing for Jeff Fisher, so you should add 20 points to his passer rating that year on general principle. Listen, if Nick Foles is worth that, Earl Thomas is worth even more. Where’s Mike Ditka when you need him?