Here's why Bobby Wagner has no problem with Earl Thomas skipping Seahawks offseason workouts
Thomas is one of the NFL's best safeties and he's looking for a new contract
Earl Thomas is the last remaining member of the Legion of Boom; Richard Sherman, Jeremy Lane and DeShawn Shead were released this offseason, and it sounds like Kam Chancellor may have played his last NFL game.
Thomas' days could be numbered too; the Pro Bowl safety skipped offseason workouts because he wants a new contract. And the Seahawks haven't hidden the fact that they're willing to trade Thomas. Dallas remains a logical landing spot and the two teams had discussions during the draft, though the Seahawks were reportedly looking for a second-round pick.
Thomas is set to make $8.5 million in 2018 but the Cowboys apparently weren't interested in parting ways with a high draft pick for what would amount to a one-year deal; if there is a trade, it will almost certainly include Thomas getting a new contract. But never say never; Dallas still has needs in its secondary and Thomas is still unhappy in Seattle.
Meanwhile, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, another integral part of what has been one of the most dominant defenses in recent seasons, would love for Thomas to stay in Seattle but he also understands the nature of the NFL.
"You've got to do what's right for you," Wagner told radio station KJR, via the Tacoma News Tribune. "Because at the end of the day, whenever you are done they don't care about you. You've got to get what you've got to get while you can. Because as soon as you can't play ... they don't want you no more, it's over. So you've got to make the best of your opportunity."
Recently retired Seahawks pass rusher Cliff Avril agrees.
"I think even with (Earl's) situation, I get asked the question, as well. And I think ... that's the right approach. For us, we understand it's a business," Avril said. "We understand, obviously, we want Earl out there. He's one of the best safeties in the league. Obviously, you need him in the locker room.
"But at the same time, as a friend, as a person that understands the business, you have to capitalize as many times as possible. Because ... once you get hurt, once your play goes down, all these different things, the team has full (leverage). They can let you go, and you don't see the rest of that money. So when you are ... the best thing out there, you know, you better capitalize as much as possible."
Thomas, 29, is still at the top of his game, and it's why DallasCowboys.com writer Bryan Broaddus doesn't believe the safety will hold out once the season starts.
"You're talking about a guy that makes over $10 million," Broaddus said. "Players just don't leave those checks on the field just for principal, for that reason. I think that Seattle is going to have to figure out something. The Cowboys are going to have to figure out something. And maybe they do work something out there."
We'll know more in the coming weeks but whatever happens Thomas has Wagner's full support.
"Do I hope he comes? I do," Wagner said. "I hope he comes. But I'm not necessarily focused on that, because I understand both sides. I understand wanting him here. And I understand the business aspect, which is not good for players. Like, we have contracts that don't necessarily favor us all the time. So you have to do what's right for you."
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