Earl Thomas versus the Seahawks is more complicated than you think

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 29: Earl Thomas of the Seattle Seahawks . (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 29: Earl Thomas of the Seattle Seahawks . (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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Earl Thomas of the Seahawks
BALTIMORE, MD – DECEMBER 13: Free safety Earl Thomas #29 of the Seattle Seahawks takes a moment before a game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Earl Thomas is holding out for a contract extension. The Seahawks expect him to honor the contract he has. Is either side right?

This is probably the fiftieth article we’ve written about Earl Thomas and his contract situation. The actual number is nineteen, but it is the second of the day. You tend to write about the potential loss of a likely Hall of Fame player, especially when he’s the linchpin of your defense. My question isn’t whether the Seahawks will miss Thomas – you can get a much better answer here – but to ask who’s right in this issue? Or more importantly, can either side be wrong?

Thomas has been a phenomenal force for the Seahawks defense. We may have written about his contract a lot, but we’ve written much more about his greatness. It’s generally understood far beyond the boundaries of the 12s that Thomas is a great player. Take this article by Steven Ruiz for USA Today’s For The Win site. As Ruiz says, he used a really small sample size for his chart – one half – but it shows the incredible difference between a good safety – Atlanta’s Ricardo Allen – and a great safety like Thomas.

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Thomas has so much range, he almost plays a different position than anyone else in the league. No one covers as much ground as Thomas. As Ruiz writes, both his instincts – I’d say his football IQ – and his blazing speed get him to the ball far more often that not. He certainly allows the Legion of Boom to play differently. Or at least has to this point.

Here’s a great look at the value Thomas could give the Seahawks in the future. Not what he’s already done – and six Pro Bowl seasons is a lot – but what he could be expected to do. Of all places, we return to Forbes magazine and their exceptional writer Matt Ufford. Ufford argues that Thomas has been drastically undervalued by the Seahawks. To be more precise, he argues that Seattle is underestimating his future value. I mean, it’s right there in the title. Go read it. It’s a great read, and I don’t mind waiting. I’ll get a beer while you’re away…