Peter King explains why Earl Thomas is the Ravens' greatest question mark

Josh Luckenbaugh
NBC Sports Washington

Ravens safety Earl Thomas hasn't played a full season since 2015, suffering a number of leg injuries over the last several seasons. 

It may be a big if, but if Thomas stays healthy, Peter King sees a big-time difference-maker in Baltimore's secondary. 

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"The Earl Thomas question is the greatest question about the Ravens," King told NBC Sports Washington during his visit to Ravens training camp last Friday. "We really don't know if Earl Thomas can be a 16-game, dominant- on-the-backend player where everybody in the league fears him again."

Thomas was a six-time Pro Bowler during his eight-year stint with the Seahawks before signing a four-year, $55 million deal with the Ravens this past offseason. The move was certainly a risk for Baltimore, but King still sees plenty of upside in the 30-year-old.

"When he was in Seattle, his intelligence and his physicality were next to none in terms of combining that in the safety position, and right now, he needs to prove that he can be healthy now for a full season," said King. "If he's healthy and he plays let's say 15 games, then the Ravens have made a great pick."

"If he gets hurt again and he's in and out of the lineup and he isn't that impact player, it's a terrible contract. So the Ravens really need Earl Thomas to stay healthy. If he is healthy, there's no question in mind that he'll be a huge impact player."

And after the departures of Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley, King believes Thomas can fill the leadership vacuum on the Ravens defense. 

"Any time you lose Suggs, any time you lose Mosley, those are two great leaders," King told NBC Sports Washington. "It's very hard to replace either of them and now you've got to replace both."

"My feeling is that some other guys are going to emerge. Number one, I believe that once Earl Thomas has mastered this defense, that Earl Thomas is gonna be a great leader on his team, the same way he was for the 'Legion of Boom.'"

"The strength of this team right now is the secondary, and they've got some veteran players and veteran presences in that secondary who I think can be those type of leader-type players for this team."

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Peter King explains why Earl Thomas is the Ravens' greatest question mark originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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