Seahawks seeking 1st and 3rd-round picks for Earl Thomas; Cowboys interested
CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Thomas is looking for a new deal that will pay him $11 million a year
The Seahawks are in the process of rebuilding their defense, even if they wouldn't use those exact words. Michael Bennet was traded to the Eagles, Richard Sherman was released, it's unclear if Kam Chancellor or Cliff Avril will play again, and Earl Thomas appears to be the next man out the door.
But unlike Bennett, who along with a seventh-round pick was traded for wideout Marcus Johnson and a fifth-rounder; or Sherman, who signed a team-friendly deal with the 49ers, Thomas remains one of the league's best safeties and the Seahawks, should they trade him, will want to compensated accordingly.
According to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, the asking price is a first- and third-round pick. That certainly sounds steep -- especially when you remember than the 49ers only gave up a second-rounder for Jimmy Garoppolo -- but not only does La Canfora report that several teams are interested, he adds the Seahawks "may get more."
If you're wondering whether there's mutual interest, may we direct you to this exchange from last December:
"I don't literally mean, 'Come get me now,'" said Thomas, who is from Orange, Texas, and played at the University of Texas. "I'm still in the prime of my career. I still want to be here. But when Seattle kicks me to the curb, please, the Cowboys, come get me. This is the only place I'd rather be if I get kicked to the curb."
That time is nigh.
Wherever Thomas ends up, there's the matter of paying him. The 28-year-old is entering the final year of a four-year, $40 million deal and he's already made it clear that he wants a new contract.
"... As far as my future in Seattle, I think if they want me, you know, money talks," Thomas said from the Pro Bowl in January. "We'll get something accomplished. Other than that, I'm just taking it one day at a time."
Thomas has made six Pro Bowl appearance in eight seasons (he missed the final month of the 2016 season after suffering a broken tibia), and he was again named to the All-Pro team. He's still one of the league's best defensive backs and he wants to be compensated as such. Specifically, according to La Canfora, Thomas and just-released Tyrann Matthieu want to be among the league's highest paid safeties.
With NFL defenses continuing to evolve to keep up with pass-happy offenses, demand for playmakers has never been higher. Put another way: $11 million seems reasonable; whether a team is willing to part with a first- and third-round pick, however, sounds less likely. But as the old saying goes, it only takes one.
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