Earl Thomas isn't playing football, but he isn't retired. And he wants to play football again. The former Seahawks and Ravens safety, long regarded as one of the top players at his position, told ESPN on Friday that he's seeking a return to the NFL despite sitting out the last two seasons. The 32-year-old former Pro Bowler was last seen with Baltimore during the 2020 offseason, when both a domestic dispute and altercations with teammates preceded his release.
"I'm ready," Thomas told Adam Schefter. "I'm in shape."
That doesn't mean the former Super Bowl champion, a leading member of the Seahawks' title-contending "Legion of Boom" secondary, will draw any interest. Despite a decorated career resume that includes seven Pro Bowl nods and five All-Pro honors, Thomas was perceived as a consistent problem in Baltimore's locker room, as reported, frequently missing meetings and, ultimately, punching teammate Chuck Clark in training camp.
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His short-lived run with the Ravens, who made him one of the game's highest-paid safeties in 2019 free agency, followed a bitter divorce from Seattle, where he publicly blasted coach Pete Carroll after muddled contract talks. Thomas had just a single free-agent visit with the Texans following his release from the Ravens, per ESPN, but some Houston players reportedly lobbied against his addition, and Thomas has remained unsigned since.
A first-round pick of the Seahawks in 2010, Thomas didn't miss a single start during his first six NFL seasons, totaling 30 interceptions over the course of his career.