SEATTLE (AP) — Earl Thomas' issues with the Seattle Seahawks front office aren't going away, even as he continues to play like one of the best safeties in the NFL. How much longer the Seahawks are willing to put up with an unhappy star is now the big question.
SEATTLE (AP) — Earl Thomas' issues with the Seattle Seahawks front office aren't going away, even as he continues to play like one of the best safeties in the NFL.
How much longer the Seahawks are willing to put up with an unhappy star is now the big question.
After a few days of uncertainty, Thomas was on the field Sunday creating problems for opponents in Seattle's 24-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys. In what he acknowledged could end up being his last game in Seattle, Thomas had two interceptions and tied for a team high with seven tackles.
"I don't know if it was," Thomas said, "but I had a damn good time and I'll go out like that if I have to."
His displeasure with his situation in Seattle remains evident. Thomas' holdout from Seattle's offseason program and training camp didn't result in a contract extension or a trade. He's now banking that skipping two days of practice this past week — and then playing great Sunday — may finally force Seattle's hand to make some sort of move, either offering him a long-term contract extension or sending him to another team that might be willing to secure his future beyond this season.
"I love Seattle," Thomas said. "My family is here. I'm hopeful these guys will call my agent and we'll work something out. I want to be taken care of."
Since he reported on the Wednesday before the season opener, Thomas had not taken any overt actions to express his displeasure with his contract situation, a deal with Seattle that expires after this season. That changed this week when he sat out practices Wednesday and Friday without any injury designation. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Thomas missed the practices for personal reasons and was not injury related.
Thomas said Sunday he sat out because he's "invested in myself."
"If they were invested in me, I'd be out there practicing, but if I feel like anything — I don't give a damn if it's small, I got a headache — I'm not practicing," Thomas said.
Carroll offered no explanations for the situation.
"Really, I haven't even talked to him about it other than we made it through and we talk next week," Carroll said. "There's nothing even to really tell you about it. I'll let you know next week."
Thomas said he understood that decision would likely come with some financial repercussions — from the Seahawks.
"They definitely gonna tax me," Thomas said. "I'm sure I'll have a slip in my locker."
Thomas' absence from practice — or the lingering uncertainty about his future — didn't seem to bother his teammates.
"He keeps playing like greatness, he's playing like he deserves one of those yellow jackets," defensive end Frank Clark said. "At the end of the day, that's Earl. Earl is going to do Earl. I think we all know that. Everybody is panicking and wondering where Earl is at, but I'm sure he's getting better somewhere in his little cave or something."
Thomas' first interception came in the first quarter after he pinned a deflected pass against his shin and kept it from hitting the turf. His second pick also came off a deflection and stopped a drive by Dallas deep in Seattle territory in the fourth quarter. After the second interception, Thomas turned to Dallas' sideline and bowed.
Thomas has never hid his desire to one day play for the Cowboys and last year after the Seahawks won in Dallas, Thomas made the odd move of running into the Cowboys' locker room to give a message to coach Jason Garrett: "If they kick me to the curb, come get me."
It was the second time in his career Thomas had two interceptions in a game, and the bow was a bit of a shot at Dallas for not getting a deal done.
"I felt like that was just in the moment and if they were going to trade for me and extend me, they should have did it," Thomas said of his gesture that drew a 15-yard penalty.