Seahawks safety Earl Thomas checked in at No. 66 on the NFL Network's list of the Top 100 Players of 2016.
The NFL Network — or, I guess, those who do the voting — sure like to put Seahawks safety Earl Thomas at No. 66 on its annual list of the top 100 players.
For the third time in the past five years Thomas checked in at No. 66 when players 70-61 were revealed as the network continued its countdown Wednesday night.
Thomas was also 66th in both 2012 and 2013 before rising to 17 in 2014 and 21st last season.
Thomas is the second Seahawks player so far on the list — receiver Doug Baldwin was earlier ranked 72nd.
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That Thomas fell off some from last season maybe shouldn’t have been completely unexpected after he sat out much of the off-season and didn’t play in the preseason in 2015 after having shoulder surgery in February (Thomas was harsh about his play and that of the team as a whole on a few occasions in the early part of last season).
But that he fell all the way to 66 from 21 seems a bit much — the Seahawks shook off some collective early struggles to allow the fewest points in the NFL for the fourth straight season, the best streak in the Super Bowl era.
The countdown, remember, is voted on by players and the number 66 might be something Thomas remembers (recall his disappointment over not being named All-Pro last season). For comparison’s sake, Thomas was 39th on the Pro Football Focus top 100 players list.
Seattle undoubtedly has more players who will be named in coming weeks — the Seahawks had eight players on the list last season, the most in the NFL.
Seattle’s players on the list last year were: RB Marshawn Lynch (No. 9), CB Richard Sherman (11), Thomas (21), QB Russell Wilson (22), TE Jimmy Graham (31), S Kam Chancellor (41), LB Bobby Wagner (69) and DL Michael Bennett (90).