Earl Thomas agrees to 4-year extension with Seahawks

Dressed early for a January practice and shouting taunts at quarterback Russell Wilson from his locker, Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas explained he was not concerned.

He was warning Wilson not to throw his way during the coming practice. Then, he was telling a reporter how his contract situation did not worry him.

In the 2014 season, Thomas was set to enter the final year of his five-year deal with the Seahawks. The end of his contract — along with that of cornerback Richard Sherman — loomed over the organization.

“Why stress it when you know it’s coming?” Thomas said then. “You just focus on what’s in front of you right now. It’s already been taken care of. Your play is going to speak for itself. They already know how valuable you are to the team and what you bring. Those numbers don’t lie.”

Not worrying about it was the right route.

Thomas signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension that can keep him with the Seahawks through 2018. Of that, $27.725 million is reportedly guaranteed. The deal makes Thomas the highest-paid safety in the NFL.

Thomas, 24, has been named to three consecutive Pro Bowls, plus three consecutive All-Pro teams as a free safety. He might be the most amped member of the “Legion of Boom,” challenging the man next to him in the locker room, Sherman, for that title.

The Seahawks and Thomas agreeing to a deal is not a surprise. As the season progressed last year, opposing offenses predicated much of their game plan on keeping the ball away from Thomas.

According to NFLSavant.com, opposing offenses threw deep over the middle against the Seahawks a scant 1.73 percent of the time last season. And only had a 40 percent completion rate when doing so. Thomas’ 105 tackles were second on the team last season.

Thomas is slated to be paid $4.725 million this season, which is a salary cap hit of $5.473 million. According to the NFL Players’ Association, the Seahawks had $14,700,225 in cap space remaining before the deal.

The Seahawks’ offseason management of their salary cap space was designed around re-signing Thomas and Sherman, who is heading into the final year of his deal.

Thomas’ range and attitude are crucial parts to the league’s No. 1 defense. Not only is he among the fastest players in the league, but he’s arguably the most intense.

He moved into the spotlight last year, emerging from his quieter days as a Seahawks rookie in 2010. He is arguably the best player on the best defense in the league. He’s no longer the mistake-prone, loose-cannon safety that head coach Pete Carroll thought of benching or the quiet guy in a vociferous secondary.

“I want to take over,” Thomas said during the season.

This is another step toward that.

More in Sports

Friday’s prep football results

Two state-ranked Snohomish County high school football teams lost for the first… Continue reading

UW, Colorado set for rematch of Pac-12 title game

The Huskies won convincingly at a neutral site last season, but this time have to travel to Boulder.

Richardson having an impact on Seattle’s defensive line

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Jimmy Graham will play this Sunday despite ankle injury.

Cruz hits walk-off HR as M’s top Indians 3-1 to snap skid

The two-run shot backed a brilliant 8-inning outing from Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez.

No. 18 Washington State prepares for slumping Nevada

The Cougars are seeking their first 4-0 start since the 2001 season against the 0-3 Wolf Pack.

Designated hitter Cruz named Mariners’ player of the year

James Paxton is named Seattle’s pitcher of the year in a pre-game ceremony Friday.

Everett Silvertips are team in transition this season

Their new coach is expected to implement a more up-tempo style of play.

Rushing attack a dominant force for Monroe football

Pairing a massive, physical O-line with star RB Isaiah Lewis is a ‘lethal’ recipe for the Bearcats.

M’s lose to Rangers 4-2, late-season skid hits 6 games

Seattle falls five games back in the AL wild-card race with just nine games remaining.

Most Read