BY Art Thiel 04:13PM 04/28/2014

Seahawks extend Earl Thomas: 4 years, $40M

Earl Thomas became the NFL’s highest paid safety with a four-year contract extension after this season, worth $40 million, $27.775 million guaranteed.

Earl Thomas has his contract extension from the Seahawks. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

The anticipated deal securing FS Earl Thomas has come to pass: A four-year, $40 million extension, $27.775 million guaranteed, that will make the Seahawks’ premier defender the highest paid safety in the game, according to multiple reports, including ProFootballTalk.com. Thomas will make $4.6 million in 2014, his final year before he would have become a free agent.

Previously, free agent Jairus Byrd left Buffalo for New Orleans and a six-year, $54 million deal, with $26.3 million guaranteed.

As much as any player, Thomas, 25 next month, helped lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl championship. His speed, ferocity and intense preparation set a tone for the defense as much as Russell Wilson drove the offense. Thomas is the commander of “The Legion of Boom.”

The Seahawks’ first pick in the 2010 draft (14th overall) from the University of Texas was the first by the Pete Carroll/John Schneider regime that transformed the franchise.

“I think Earl Thomas might have one of the highest football IQs I’ve ever heard of, and he studies the game to a T,” Sherman told si.com’s Doug Farrar in January. “He studies it day, night, night and day. In the morning, at night — he’s probably studying it right now. You’ve got Kam Chancellor, who does the same thing.

“So when you see Chancellor going downhill to make those huge hits and those huge plays, and Earl going to make those, it’s because they know the play is coming. They’re not guessing out there. It’s a real testament to us as a group.”

Thomas is the Seahawks’ fourth major contract extension of the offseason, including coach Pete Carroll. The Seahawks also re-signed DE Michael Bennett before he became a free agent, and re-structured the contract to bring back TE Zach Miller.

Next up for an extension figures to be CB Richard Sherman, who, like Thomas, is eligible for free agency after this season.

“Whatever they feel I am due, I will take it as respect,” Sherman told NFL Network last week. “It’s all about respect in this game, and the only way people show respect is the dollars. We’ll see what happens.”


YourThoughts

  • zippy0

    YAHOOOOOO- congratulations to Earl – well deserved

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Seahawk brass extended ET for “Safety Reasons” as he is the super
    charged motor that propels the LOB….and ET is synonymous with excellence!See Tina Turners hit “Simply the
    Best”(a hit when Thomas was in diapers) …that is our guy Earl.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Locked up til he is 29 in Hawk blue and green. Superb. In the end he will go down in positive fashion in Seahawk lore.While pro bowl caliber Kenny Easleys style was more comparable to Kam Chancellors in brutal hitting I think when we close the book on Earls Career we will hear parables to both these magnificent DBs Seahawk careers… and what they meant to their perspective Hawk teams.To say the next 5 years will be a real treat for those fans who love hard hitting defense is indeed an understatement. In many ways he is a carbon to Easley in echoing the attitude of maintaining excellence ….never giving up a single yard easy. That was Kenny. Conversely ,Earl deserves any accolade thrown at him with his play and leadership. Seahawk football will be a joy to watch for much of this ensuing decade ….Thanks to The Earl of the Legion. Congrats ET!

  • Matt712

    It’s almost amusing to watch the rest of the league ablaze with free agent activity while the Seahawks seem to be so cool and quiet in comparison, their acquisitions creating barely a ripple on the news wire. But what’s really going on is what Carroll & Schmeider have been doing along: taking care of business internally. Sign Hauska, sign Miller, sign Thomas, sign Sherman…

    Not that they wouldn’t take a stab at a sure thing (e.g. getting Percy Harvin or woooing Jered Allen), it’s just that this franchise seems to prefer building itself from the inside out. Most teams are happy to attract a star player; the Seahawks would rather create one.

  • jafabian

    Never thought the club would get another safety at the level of Kenny Easley and its happened. The Thomas/Chancellor tandem is as hard hitting and as savvy as the Easley and John Harris were. For me the current team really reminds of the early Chuck Knox team. Earl will probably be named a captain with Red’s departure and it’s well earned.

  • jppatches

    You guys said it all ahead of me. During the last half of the past season I became convinced Earl and Cam are the best safety duo in the NFL, and maybe the best ever.