2019 NFL Free Agency: Earl Thomas Contract Projection

Earl Thomas

Age: 29 Height: 5-10 Weight: 202 Experience: 9 seasons

Potential Suitors: Cowboys, Chargers, Chiefs, 49ers, Packers, Falcons

Free Agent Profile

Instincts. Range. Ball skills. Centerfielder. Enforcer. Earl Thomas is all of it wrapped into a 5-10 frame. One of the best safeties of his era, Thomas is the only player with 25+ interceptions and 10+ forced fumbles since he entered the NFL in 2010.

The 2010 first round pick has the second-most interceptions (28) and fourth-most passes defensed (67) among safeties over that span. Thomas tied for the team lead in interceptions in 2018 (3) despite only playing in four games.

Thomas didn’t miss a game during his first six seasons but has missed 19 over the last three. He’s also coming off a fractured leg that forced him to miss the final 12 games of 2018.

After holding out until Week 1 last season, Thomas finally gets the new contract he has sought for some time.

Production

Career: 637 tackles, 28 INT, 67 passes defensed, 10 FF, 5 FR

2018 Season: 22 tackles, 3 INT, 5 passes defensed (4 games)

Positional Market

Player Comparables: KC Eric Berry, MIA Reshad Jones, SEA Kam Chancellor

Leverage

Thomas is one of the NFL’s best defensive players at a position in which players have aged well in the past (i.e. Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson, etc.).

Injuries can be seen as a legitimate concern given Thomas has missed multiple games in each of the last three seasons.

Salary Floor: $10 million

Considering the rise in the salary cap and his age, Thomas re-upping for anything less than the $10 million he earned in his 2014 extension seems unlikely.

Salary Ceiling: $13.5 million

Thomas could seek to become the NFL’s highest paid safety, and on an open market with his resume, he just might.

Contract Projection

Team Ideal: 3 years, $30 million, $10.0 million AAV, $18M Full GTD

Player Ideal: 4 years, $54 million, $13.5 million AAV, $24M Full GTD

 

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