Earl Thomas Issues Seahawks Ultimatum: 'Offer Me an Extension or Trade Me'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2018

Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas during an NFL football game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini)
Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Six-time Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas issued the Seattle Seahawks an ultimatum Thursday amid his holdout from training camp.

In an article for The Players' Tribune, Thomas said: "Offer me an extension. Or trade me to a team that wants me to be part of their future."

Thomas is set to enter the final season of a four-year, $40 million extension he signed with the Seahawks in 2014.

As part of the article, Thomas explained why he wants some level of security:

"If you're risking your body to deliver all of this value to an organization, then you deserve some sort of assurance that the organization will take care of you if you get hurt. It's that simple. This isn't new, and this isn't complicated. It's the reason I'm holding out—I want to be able to give my everything, on every play, without any doubt in my mind."

Thomas offered recent examples regarding the fragility of an NFL career. He wrote about how the Seahawks released cornerback Richard Sherman after he tore his Achilles last season, and he also discussed Kam Chancellor's neck injury that likely ended his career.

Thomas continued: "I wish I was at a camp right now—and I'm talking right now. I'm ready. I've been preparing my body all offseason to be at an NFL camp. All I want is to be out there playing. Instead I'm here working out ... and waiting."

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported last week the Seahawks were "specific and clear" in telling Thomas they will not address his contract situation. His current deal has him earn $8.5 million in 2018 before becoming a free agent, per Spotrac.

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ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Thursday that NFL executives believe the Seahawks will trade Thomas rather than extend him. On Wednesday, ESPN's Todd Archer predicted the Seahawks will trade Thomas to the Dallas Cowboys before the regular season.

After a win over the Cowboys last season, Thomas notably entered their locker room and told head coach Jason Garrett, "If y'all have the chance, come get me."

Thomas is one of the last key remnants of the Legion of Boom secondary—also featuring Sherman (49ers), Chancellor (injured), Brandon Browner (not in the league) and Byron Maxwell (re-signed with Seattle)—which helped lead the Seahawks to consecutive Super Bowl appearances, including one win.

There has been a mass exodus defensively in recent years, but Thomas would arguably be the biggest loss of them all.