It’s been three years since former Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas III played in the NFL, but according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the soon-to-be 33-year-old is looking to resume his career.
“I’m ready,” Thomas said in a text to Schefter. “I’m in shape. My timing is on point – I’m proud of that.”
It remains to be seen if any team will be open to considering Thomas, who signed a four-year, $55 million contract with the Ravens in March 2019 and made the Pro Bowl that year, but was released in August 2020 after an altercation with teammate Chuck Clark.
“We have terminated S Earl Thomas’ contract for personal conduct that has adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens,” said the team in a statement at the time.
It wasn’t the only occasion that Thomas came into conflict with a Ravens teammate. In September 2019 he made headlines when he had what was described as a “heated discussion” with defensive lineman Brandon Williams following a loss to the Cleveland Browns in which Baltimore’s defense allowed 530 yards.
Notably, Thomas’ Seahawks career ended badly too. On September 30, 2018, he flipped off the Seattle sideline while being carted off after sustaining a season-ending leg injury.
One fan referenced that incident when speculating about how NFL teams might react to an attempted comeback.
Does Anyone Want to See Earl Thomas Make a Comeback?
If NFL Twitter is any indication, it seems that precious few fans want to see Earl Thomas play again, though some have a fatalistic sense that their team might sign him.
Countless fans have used memes to respond with an emphatic “no,” like this one with actor Danny DeVito.
But more than anything else, fans want to highlight how Thomas got stiff-armed by running back Derrick Henry during a game between the Ravens and Titans in January 2020. For a brief moment, Thomas effectively served as a lead blocker for the Titans’ All-Pro back:
Meanwhile, several observers made reference to an unsavory incident involving Thomas’ wife and brother from the spring of 2020, one that has been well-documented elsewhere.
Is his brother trying out with him, since they do everything together?” quipped one observer.
Last but not least, some fans are of the mind that Thomas should continue his pro football career in the USFL, or perhaps wait until next year to join the XFL.
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Earl Thomas Was Selected No. 14 Overall by the Seahawks in 2010
Earl Thomas III — who was listed as 5-foot-10 and 202 pounds — entered the league in 2010 as a first-round pick of the Seahawks (No. 14 overall) out of the University of Texas. He played nine seasons in Seattle, earning first-team All-Pro honors three times and making six Pro Bowls before moving on to Baltimore.
Thomas made a total of 140 starts over the course of his ten NFL seasons and recorded a total of 713 tackles (497 solo), along with 30 interceptions, 71 passes defensed, 12 forced fumbles and two sacks, as per Pro Football Reference. He will turn 33 on May 7, 2022.
By terminating Thomas’ contract, the Ravens had to take dead money cap charges of $5 million in 2020 and $10 million in 2021, according to overthecap.com.
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