The decision comes a day after Thomas, 31, got into a fight with safety Chuck Clark at practice. Following that practice, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the altercation between Clark and Thomas lasted too long. There are rumors Thomas wasn’t the most popular player in the team’s locker room.
Those rumors appear to be accurate, as team leadership reportedly backed the decision to get rid of Thomas.
The unique part of this Earl Thomas situation is #Ravens player leadership is behind they move. Sources said yesterday they communicated to management they supported a release or trade.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 23, 2020
Harbaugh didn’t say much about the move Sunday, saying the team’s statement speaks for itself.
Coach Harbaugh on today's statement on Earl Thomas: pic.twitter.com/jmDNxFMQXn— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 23, 2020
Thomas signed a four-year, $55 million deal with the Ravens in 2019. He’s owed $10 million in 2020, but the team may avoid paying that salary since it released Thomas due to conduct detrimental to the team. There will likely be a grievance filed.
Adam Schefter reported Sunday the Ravens would either release or trade Thomas.
In a scenario where the Ravens were able to trade Thomas, the Dallas Cowboys were considered the leading contender to acquire him, according to Schefter. In the past, Thomas has expressed interest in signing with Dallas.
Now that Thomas will be a free agent, the Cowboys are free to sign Thomas to a new contract.
Earl Thomas wishes the Ravens well
Despite being released, Thomas sent well wishes to the Ravens’ organization Sunday. In an Instagram story, Thomas thanked the team for the opportunity.
From Earl Thomas on Instagram pic.twitter.com/x7QCQ5odfZ— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 23, 2020
He ended his statement by wishing the Ravens “the best.”
Earl Thomas is still excellent on the field
While the Ravens are done with Thomas’ conduct, his play on the field has been stellar. Thomas grades out as Pro Football Focus’ highest-rated safety since 2015.
Earl Thomas III is the highest-graded safety in the NFL since 2015 (92.9) pic.twitter.com/ZBYaZHRHeI— PFF (@PFF) August 23, 2020
Thomas’ former teammate Richard Sherman feels the same way. Sherman called Thomas “one of the best in this league” and was sad to see Thomas get released.
It’s really sad how things have played out for a man who is like a brother to me. Just know that when @Earl_Thomas gets back on the grass he will be out to make a point! Still one of the best in this league and I look forward to him being able to prove it again— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) August 23, 2020
Over his career, Thomas has made seven Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro three times. Last year, Thomas made 49 tackles and had two interceptions in 15 games with the Ravens.
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