Report: Ravens' Earl Thomas Sent Home from Camp After Fight with Chuck Clark

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2020

Baltimore Ravens free safety Earl Thomas looks on after a play against the Tennessee Titans during the firs half of an NFL divisional playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Baltimore. The Titans won 28-12. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas was reportedly sent home from the team facility Friday following a fight with teammate Chuck Clark during a training camp practice.

Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported the update Saturday. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora provided further details:

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

The @Ravens situation with Earl Thomas could come to a head today. Sources said the team's Leadership Council made it clear to decision makers they would prefer Thomas not be around. Cap hit could be issue but "conduct detrimental" clause provides potential avenue for relief

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

He hasn’t been in the facility since they sent him home yesterday. Will he ever set foot in there again? TBD. Sounds like everything, including a release, is on the table for Earl Thomas and the #Ravens. https://t.co/6Aj4dZCnug

Thomas wasn't on the field when the Ravens started Saturday's practice, per Pelissero. ESPN's Jamison Hensley noted Clark was an active participant as camp resumed.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Earl Thomas responds via Instagram, acknowledging his altercation with teammate Chuck Clark began with a mental error by Thomas in practice Friday. https://t.co/hPXkjKmTpw

Field Yates @FieldYates

Earl Thomas posted this video to his Instagram of the coverage breakdown that led to the altercation with fellow S Chuck Clark. He works to clear the air on the matter in this post: https://t.co/RK5GnkpqVl https://t.co/Dc4JY5DRwa

The 31-year-old University of Texas product is slated to enter his second season with Baltimore after signing a four-year, $55 million contract in March 2019. Releasing him would leave $15 million in dead cap space in 2020 and $10 million more in 2021, according to Spotrac.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh discussed the altercation after Friday's session:

"It just lasted longer than it needed to for me. You're going to have these things in training camp. I think you're going to have tempers flare, sure. It happens every training camp, especially right about now, probably. But I don't like them when they extend like that and eat into our reps, and we're going to have to find out why and make sure that doesn't happen. We need to keep our eye on the prize, which is preparing for the Browns."

Thomas enjoyed a solid first season in Baltimore. He recorded 49 total tackles, four passes defended, two interceptions, two sacks and a forced fumble across 15 appearances en route to his seventh career Pro Bowl selection.

The Texas native was once again set to start alongside Clark in the Ravens secondary. DeShon Elliott would likely get the first crack to fill the void if the team opted to release Thomas, though Jordan Richards would also be in the competition for playing time.

Thomas was one of the NFL's top safeties across nine years with the Seattle Seahawks, who selected him in the first round of the 2010 draft. He was named an All-Pro five times (three first team and two second team) during his time with the Hawks.

He'd likely generate immediate, widespread interest as a free agent if let go by Baltimore.