The Saga Continues…
The Earl Thomas drama needs to end, it’s bad for everybody involved. It played out all last week in Seattle and culminated, for now at the Cowboys/Seahawks game yesterday at Century Link in Seattle, where the Seahawks beat Dallas 24-13 in a game that really wasn’t even that close. This whole Earl Thomas, saga has been a weird one. This has been a crazy combination of events that are all…BAD FOR THE GAME.
For those that hadn’t followed, Earl held out all of the off season and all of training camp in hope-response-protest, whatever you want to call it, of not getting a new extended contract. Last week he sat out 2 practices during the week in a refusal to participate because he is pouting over not getting his desired contract. He admitted that he was saving his body during the week, his quote to the Seattle Times was “I need to make sure I’m 100%, I’m investing in myself. If they were invested in me, I’d be out there practicing” He went on to say “if I’m not 100%, I’m not practicing. Even if I have a headache”.
No other way to put it, he’s pouting.
How things are playing out…both on and off the field.
By responding like this he has total disregard for his team. He will be fined, I’m sure, for conduct detrimental to the team, for refusing to practice, as he should be. And then to top it off, he claims Cowboy coaches reached out to him in pregame and asked him if he was ready for a trade tomorrow. The Cowboys were rumored to have offered the Seahawks a 2nd round choice during training camp for Earl. If that is actually true, and those said coaches reached out to him in pregame then those coaches should be fined as well, for tampering, if not conduct detrimental.
This isn’t The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh, a Dr J movie from the 70’s. This is the kind of thing that the SHIELD (NFL hierarchy on Park Avenue) can’t have. It’s worthy of an NFL investigation, at least equivalent of a shot over the Cowboys bow. But as we know, Jerry Jones and his crew, usually have a hard time “not talking” so none of this surprises us on the inside.
After all this, Earl then went out and played great, getting two INT’s and shutting down a feeble Cowboy offense on a day where all sides had a vested interest at stake. Earl Thomas was Earl Thomas. You can’t make this stuff up, it is made for a 30 for 30 documentary for ESPN in about 10 years.
Every GM in the league is watching this one to see how it shakes out. Many will say a suspension is in order, I’d be one of them. He is holding his teammates/coaches and the fans all hostage while he takes his business to the streets by with-holding his services. To the extent he is doing this, is groundbreaking. I don’t remember this happening to this extreme in many years, where a player refuses to practice.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider have to be livid. I’m sure some have lost some respect for Earl, who up until now had been a warrior and total team player. Hundreds of players play out their contracts to the end each year, it’s part of the business. It’s clear that some can handle it and others cannot. There are rules and guidelines that have been collectively bargained for by his Union and the NFL including fines and repercussions for events and actions, just like Earls.
He is great player, probably a Hall of Fame player, in fact. I hate to say it but, his legacy now, in Seattle, has been lessoned by this chain of immature events. It hurts me to say this because I think he might be as good of player on defense that the Seahawks have had since the Cortez Kennedy days. His speed, range, instincts and play-making ability, make him the best secondary player in franchise history, in my opinion. He can not only play in the deep part of the field but come down in the box and makes people forget about Kenny Easley as the best safety to ever play for the Hawks. But having said that his acts of selfishness and total disregard for the repercussions of his actions now will taint that.
Maybe not to the fans, but to the people inside his own building. If I could offer him some advice I’d say “Handle your business-like a pro Earl, your better than this”. Of course, my advice and $2.00 will get you a cup of Joe on any street corner in Seattle.
Photo Credits: Danny E Hooks, Shutterstock