The Baltimore Ravens matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7 will be one to watch as Earl Thomas, now with Baltimore, will face his former team in Seattle.
On October 20th, Earl Thomas, now signed with the Baltimore Ravens, will face the Seattle Seahawks. Most know this was where he spent the last nine years of career. But Thomas failed to get a contract extension from Seattle before last season. And then he broke his leg in Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals. Thomas expressed his frustration through flipping off the Seahawks sideline as free agency loomed near.
Entering the free agency pool earlier this offseason, Thomas was one of the best safeties on the market. It was a shock when Baltimore added the All-Pro type player to their secondary.
On The Rich Eisen Show about a month ago, Thomas said he was about to sign a one-year prove it deal with the Kansas City Chiefs after they signed Tyrann Mathieu. New general manager Eric DeCosta swooped in late to give him the long term deal he was seeking. This signing filled a big need at free safety with the loss of Eric Weddle, who was cut. Weddle eventually signed with the Los Angeles Rams.
With Thomas signing with Baltimore, the last pieces of the Legion of Boom are basically gone. Seattle has been drafting young defensive backs to replace what they once had.
Richard Sherman was the first big piece to leave as he signed with the San Francisco 49ers last offseason. In addition, Kam Chancellor retired due to a neck injury. Byron Maxwell also had his career with Seattle derailed by a hip injury and he is now a free agent. Although their linebacking core is still intact for the most part with Bobby Wagner and Kendall Wright, their secondary will need some time to develop all their younger players until it is prominent again. Thomas will be driven to show the Seahawks that retaining him would have been the right move.
Thomas brings the ball-hawking mentality the Ravens had with Hall of Famer Ed Reed. With veterans leaving in free agency, getting a leader like Thomas was badly needed.
With Seattle, Thomas had 28 total interceptions in nine seasons as a Seahawk. He was one of the best safeties in the league despite his age and his injury history over the last three years. Even though he only played three games last season, Thomas still had 3 interceptions. This would have led the Ravens in interceptions as Marlon Humphrey, Jimmy Smith, and Brandon Carr tied with only two interceptions apiece in 2018. Getting another game changer like him in a stacked secondary was a great move to start Eric DeCosta’s campaign as the new general manager for Baltimore. He’ll no doubt try to be that ball hawk versus his old quarterback, Russell Wilson.
The combination of Earl Thomas and Tony Jefferson at strong safety will make one the best safety tandems in the NFL.
According to Spotrac, Baltimore signed him to a four-year, $55 million dollars total with a $20 million dollar bonus as he is a younger and better upgrade from Eric Weddle at a larger cost with his contract. It was evident last season that Weddle did lose a step. He did not make as many plays as he used to. Thomas gives the Ravens the sideline to sideline speed they need as Jefferson should play more box safety in run support for 2019.
The Ravens match up with the Seahawks comes at the midpoint of their season and should be interesting. The presence of Thomas alone could make Jefferson’s job easier. This will ultimately make the Seahawks job harder.