Seattle Seahawks: Earl Thomas definitely deserves the money

The first of the major contract extensions that the Seattle Seahawks need to draw up has been completed, with free safety Earl Thomas signing a four year, $40 million contract yesterday.

The deal makes Thomas the highest-paid safety in the NFL, and the All-Pro safety deserves every penny.Seattle Seahawks

In his four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, Thomas has become one of the instrumental leaders of the defense and has amassed 345 total tackles, 32 pass deflections, fifteen interceptions, five forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

Thomas makes quarterbacks second guess themselves over throwing down the middle of the field. He has excellent recognition and fantastic speed to be able to close in on the ball and make a stop. And despite his frame, he bulldozes his way into the front lines when he sees it’s a running play, often helping come up with the tackle.

He’s very animated on the field when the defense is doing its usual thing – dominating the opposing offense. Off the field, in the locker room, etc., though, Thomas acts with great humility.

His attitude at the press conference on Tuesday confirmed this view. He said he just wants to do his job on the field and knows what he’s capable of. He didn’t spend his time talking himself up; Thomas lets his play do that for him. He exuded great class at his press conference, and it’s something I definitely appreciate given how players can tend to be selfish and care only about the money.

What I really liked the most yesterday morning was that Thomas brought a ton of personnel into photos with him, GM John Schneider, and head coach Pete Carroll. Among the faces he brought to the forefront with him were Secondary coach Kris Richard, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, fellow safety Kam Chancellor, defensive passing game coordinator Rocky Seto, assistant strength and conditioning coach Mondray Gee, and many others, ranging from video directors to equipment managers.

Thomas recognizes that a bunch of guys behind the scenes help make him the successful football player that he is, and maybe that is why Thomas hasn’t really talked about being the highest-paid safety in the sport. I don’t think he sees the money as reflective of the value of his skill set alone. The money reflects the value of all the player development and conditioning and coaching that helps enhance football players with vast amounts of natural talent. Thomas knows he hasn’t gotten to the conference table on his own, and that humility is very refreshing. All those personnel deserve to be praised for their work in helping Thomas become a $10 million per year player.

It’s great to know that Thomas is going to be Seattle’s free safety for the next four years. His humility and leadership is so much fun to see as a 12th man.

Alright, Richard Sherman. You’re next!

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