Dan Quinn Comments on Falcons Adding 7X Pro Bowler Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas

Getty Free safety Earl Thomas #29 of the Seattle Seahawks.

Seven-time Pro Bowl safety, Earl Thomas, was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

Naturally, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn was asked if he would be adding his former player to Atlanta’s roster.

“He is absolutely one of my all-time favorite competitors,” Quinn said in a local media conference. “I love the guy. But at this time that’s a position that we are not looking to add to. He is absolutely one of my favorite all-time competitors. Love the guy, but not a spot that we are looking to add to at this time.”

Thomas was drafted as a Texas standout by the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the 2010 draft. At the time, Quinn was the Seahawks’ defensive line coach before heading to coach at Florida. Quinn and Thomas shared the Super Bowl XLVIII victory.

Ravens Abruptly Part Ways With Thomas

Nobody was expecting the Ravens to let go of their star safety on Sunday.

Baltimore was sent home Friday and didn’t to the Ravens’ facility since getting into an on-field altercation with teammate Chuck Clark. This marked the second physical fight that Thomas was involved with. Last season he had confronted Ravens’ tackle Brandon Williams after a loss to Cleveland. Thomas also failed to show up to several meetings during his run in Baltimore.

According to a report, the Ravens are expected to try to void his $10 million guaranteed salary this season.  However, it is expected that Thomas will file a grievance.

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Falcons Set At Safety

The Falcons currently have solid depth at safety with Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen as their starting safeties along with fourth-year player Damontae Kazee, J.J. Wilcox, and rookie Jaylinn Hawkins.

Both Neal and Allen are coming off of injuries.

Neal was a beast on the field prior to his two season-ending injuries. In his first season of the NFL in 2016, he earned a spot on the PFWA All-Rookie team after registering for 106 tackles. He was then named Pro Bowl in 2017 where he recorded 116 tackles.

After the Falcons lost Neal for 2019, Allen’s performance at safety became vital for the diminishing Falcons defense. Allen played over 15 games for the fourth time in five years and set personal records along the way. He set a personal best in passes defended and had the second-best mark of his career in tackles. Allen played a big role for the reason the Falcons made improvement moving from the 28th to 22nd in pass defense between 2018 and 2019.

As a team captain, Allen finished the 2019 Falcons season recording 84 tackles, eight pass deflections, and two interceptions. He didn’t miss any of the 16 regular-season games.

Atlanta’s Best-Kept Secret

Kazee, also known as Atlanta’s ‘best-kept secret,’ logged 991 snaps for the Falcons in 2018. He outshined everyone else after recording 82 tackles, tieing for the NFL lead with seven interceptions and allowed just 53.3 percent passes completed.

His playing time dropped a little last season, but he still played well at two positions. In 803 snaps at both safety and slot cornerback, Kazee had 74 tackles, picked off three more passes with a passer rate of just 66.3.

In his three seasons in Atlanta, Kazee has had recorded 171 tackles, 10 interceptions and 13 passes defended.

While Earl’s talent and veteran experience would be fun to have on the Falcons’ roster, it’s not worth the drama.

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