Earl Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowl sure, wants to resume his NFL career after being out of the league for the past two seasons.
“I’m ready,” Thomas sent ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday. “I’m in good shape. My timing is perfect – I’m proud of that.”
Thomas, who turns 33 in May, hasn’t played since being released by the Baltimore Ravens in August 2020, two days after hitting teammate Chuck Clark during a practice at training camp.
With a brash, physical style, Thomas was once considered one of the NFL’s top safeties, having been named to the First Team All-Pro from 2012-14 as a member of the Seattle Seahawks’ Legion of Boom. Thomas’ relationship with the Seahawks, however, became strained in 2018 when he flashed his right middle finger at coach Pete Carroll as he was carried away with a broken leg.
A year later, the Ravens signed Thomas to a four-year, $55 million deal that included $32 million in guaranteed money, the largest amount awarded to a free agent in franchise history. But he only lasted 17 months in Baltimore, where his tumultuous period was marked by missed meetings, a few heated confrontations with teammates, two interceptions and a Pro Bowl appearance.
The breaking point with the Ravens came in the fourth practice of the year at the team’s training camp. After Thomas blew up a blanket, Clark angrily ripped off his helmet and threw it to the ground. Thomas then punched Clark, a source said.
After being cut by Baltimore, Thomas posted on Twitter: “I had a great run… I wish things had ended differently but you live and you learn.”
Thomas has had one free agent visit since then, meeting the Houston Texans in September 2020. Thomas was expected to join the Texans but he was never signed.
He filed a grievance against the Ravens, asking for his guaranteed salary of $10 million in 2020. Baltimore refused to pay, saying he breached his contract through misconduct. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in February that Thomas’ grievance had not been resolved.
“We’ll continue to discuss it in due course, and at some point, maybe this year, we’ll have something to say about it,” DeCosta said.