My own opinion on No. 29, Seattle Seahawks, is crystearl clearl:
We’ll get to my paragraphs later. First, though, in regard to what to do with Earl Thomas, here are more words from more nerds. Including some from a new contributor.
(Editor’s Note: Say hey to our newest contributor Jesse Catastrophe, errybody!)
If Harry Potter has taught us anything, it’s that, when you are bowed to, you damn well had better bow back.
I’ve said it before and will say it again: the Seahawks’ apparent lack of interest in extending Earl Thomas makes no sense. Consider the ways:
- Safeties who don’t play with the same bruising rush of a Kam Chancellor tend to age pretty well
- Aside from one freak injury (caused by the Thor-like vigor of that same Kam) and a minor hamstring issue, ET does not have any history of injury, certainly not like Kam
- ET is still playing at a lights-out level, being graded the best safety in the game (in spite of missing all of training camp), with 3 picks and 4 PBUs, the former of which is more than he had all of last season
- Perhaps most importantly, he’s the touchstone of the kind of defense Pete Carroll loves
On top of this, he’s asking for an extension *precisely when everyone on the Seahawks in the PCJS era get extensions*.
In many ways, the obfuscation that we’ve all come to be driven mad by from Pete Carroll is here instructive, and suggests that the Seahawks probably just aren’t going to extend Earl, regardless of his performance, which is a kind of insanity we should mock as much as possible. Instead, it seems symptomatic of a team that wants to purge itself of the kinds of players that have responded to Pete’s “protect the team first” mantra with a knowing wink.
If the Seahawks want to protect themselves, they should pay Earl Thomas; his defense of the whole middle of the field is legendary. Or if they don’t want to, they should trade him while they can, because letting him walk in free agency, for potentially nothing, is literally the dumbest thing they could do.
ETIII is the unproduced sequel to the canceled sequel of E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In this screenplay, ET returns to Earth after 15 years. However, he is utterly uninterested in Elliot and his other companions. Instead, he has returned for his one true love: American football. ET has gone through alien puberty and no longer resembles an anthropomorphic raisin. Instead, he looks like this.
ET settles into the most football-crazy region of planet Earth where his talent can shine. He is drafted by a team in the Pacific Northwest and soon becomes one of the most dominant free safeties in the history of the league.
While he has learned our language, he has learned it perhaps too well and therefore his communication is on an entirely different level than us Homo Sapiens. Fortunately for us, he does not use this power for evil but for dissecting opposing passers and creating amazing interception celebrations.
I see no compelling reason to trade Earl from a football standpoint and I’ve had enough of fickle fans who can’t separate labor standing up for the value it produces from being a personal affront to their pathetic daily routine of dipshittery.
We’re all loyal to something. You loyal to a man or a god damn spreadsheet?
Sam Bradford has made $129 million. Pay Earl.
To other players who might want the same treatment: just be a hall of famer in your prime and then it’s yours
It is easier to imagine Earl Thomas as our villain. It is easier to call him selfish and toxic; to trace a narrative throughout the years and assign blame to those who got it all wrong. This is, after all, what we do best as fans: speculate on things we have very little idea about and do our best to learn what happened and why; rotating possible scenario after possible scenario until we find an acceptable explanation. We want to trust in the hidden patterns that connect our successes and failures, rather than admit things may be born out of luck and happenstance.
This has often led us to demand answers when one may not exist. And most important, it makes us afraid of being wrong. We are afraid of alienating Earl for the wrong reasons. Maybe concerns about Pete Carroll’s hold is warranted. Maybe returning to Dallas is the best way to raise his family. Maybe he’s on the wrong side of his career, and it is important for him to earn his last paycheck before he’s gone.
Depending on who you believe, there are many ways to justify your opinion of Earl, and every one of them is probably correct. As for me, what I think Earl Thomas wants is this: to be wanted, to be validated by those he respect, and to belong to a community that values who he is. For a man who has frequently embodied the extraordinary, it is ironic that his most important action is also his most human one.
I was at the draft at Radio City Music Hall with @walterseahawk when the Seahawks drafted Earl Thomas. He was not who I wanted at that pick (here’s looking at you Dez Bryant), however he was my second choice. That 2010 NFL Draft was all about Eric Berry to me. He was by far the safety that I wanted. I watched every single Tennessee game the previous two years getting excited about Berry. When he went #5 to the Chiefs, I was a wreck. I figured we’d now take an offensive lineman (which I was completely against). We drafted Okung and I was so irritated.
That irritation started to turn into excitement when Dez Bryant and Earl Thomas dropped. Names I didn’t expect to go were falling off the board (C.J. Spiller, Tyson Alualu, Anthony Davis)… The Eagles traded up to #13 and Philadelphia fans in front of us started chanting ‘Ear-l Thom-as’ *clap clap clap clap clap*.
Twitter was a new thing, but I followed a few NFL people who happened to be tipping picks. I was frantically refreshing the feed until I saw ‘Philadelphia Eagles select Brandon Graham, DE, Michigan’. I could have run around the entire upper deck of Radio City Music Hall, I was so excited. We were almost certainly getting one of Dez Bryant or Earl Thomas. At this point, I didn’t care which one. Also, it was a lot of fun to yell at those Eagles fans that they were passing on Earl.
Taking Earl Thomas was very exciting. He was a player I really enjoyed watching and fell in love with quickly. I remember Daniel Jeremiah describing Ray Lewis as ‘Pissed Off For Greatness’, which is still the best way to describe Earl Thomas. He’s both exceptionally fun and totally ornery. He seems pissed off when QBs even think of throwing deep on him and he shows his greatness when they actually pull the trigger.
This may be Earl’s last season as a Seahawk, but there will never be a safety quite like him again in Seattle.
If Earl has made it entirely clear that the relationship between he and the organization has been severed and there is absolutely no chance at an extension after the season, then sure. Trade him. I get that.
If there is any chance of an extension, then Jesus H. Fuck, what are you cantankerous monstrosities talking about? PAY THAT MAN. If the goal is to contend in 2019 (or 2018 for that matter because the Seahawks are not a bad team), how can you envision any existing timeline in whatever multiverse it is that we abstractly reside in that the Seattle Seahawks are legitimate contenders without Earl Thomas?
You can’t. Because they’re not.
Pay Earl, Pay Earl, and Pay Earl.
Take a bow, Earl. You’ve earlned every penny of a rich extension. We know, and you know, the team may try to… chop off some guaranteed money here and there to make it work. That’s fine. That’s their role. You’re not… alien to how Pete ET. AL operate. But you get yours. This is possibly your last chance in life to get paid for the thing you do best. Get everything you can.
How would $29 million guaranteed sound? You’re 29; you don’t mind wearing the number. Your next interception will be your 29th.
Maybe the Seahawks could announce an extension on Saturday the 29th, before the next game, well before the meaty part of the season begins.
I’ll save you a tedious lecture on the salary cap in 2019 and beyond. The money is there to pay Earl Thomas, if the decision-makers so decide. If the relationship is damaged, it’s probably not so frayed that money can’t fix it. Trucks of money fix certain problems, at least enough to allow a system to function again. The front office has the money. Do they have the will?