Earl Thomas 'Ready' for NFL Return; Won Super Bowl 48 with Seahawks

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 22, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 22, 2019: Free safety Earl Thomas #29 of the Baltimore Ravens runs onto the field at halftime of a game against the Cleveland Browns on December 22, 2019 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. Baltimore won 31-15. (Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Safety Earl Thomas, who's been a free agent since being released by the Baltimore Ravens in August 2020, is aiming to resume his NFL career in 2022.

"I'm ready," Thomas told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Friday. "I'm in shape. My timing is on point—I'm proud of that."

The 32-year-old former Seattle Seahawks standout is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection who helped the Hawks captured the Super Bowl XLVIII title at the end of the 2013 season.

Thomas paired with Kam Chancellor to form a fearsome safety duo as part of the Seahawks' Legion of Boom secondary throughout much of the 2010s.

The University of Texas product recorded 664 total tackles, 67 passes defended, 28 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and two touchdowns in 125 appearances across nine years in Seattle.

His list of accolades includes three first-team All-Pro selections, five second-team nods and a place on the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team.

Thomas remained productive for the Ravens in 2019, tallying 49 total tackles, four passes defended and two interceptions in 15 games, but a fight with teammate Chuck Clark during training camp the following year led to his release.

"Appreciate the Ravens organization for the opportunity. Had a great run," he wrote on Instagram after being let go. "Wish things would have ended different but you live and learn."

Thomas went unsigned for each of the past two seasons.

The Texas native was one of the NFL's most valuable defenders at his peak, as illustrated by a third-place finish in Defensive Player of the Year voting in 2013, and he owns plenty of experience playing in big games from his time in Seattle.

It's uncertain what level of production he could provide as he enters his mid-30s after two years away from NFL competition, though.

That said, Thomas' strong track record may be enough to get him some looks from teams that don't address their need at safety during this year's draft, which starts Thursday.