Seahawks safety Earl Thomas appears to be staying away from the beginning of the team's offseason program.
Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas is not attending the beginning of the team’s offseason program amid continuing uncertainty about his future with the team.
The Seahawks’ offseason program began Monday and Thomas was not present on Monday or Tuesday. Brock Huard of ESPN 710 Seattle, the team’s flagship radio network, had the initial report that Thomas was sitting out and it has since been confirmed by other reports, including the NFL Network, and confirmed by the Seattle Times.
The offseason program is voluntary and Thomas and other key vets have skipped some of it in past years (Thomas skipped some of it in 2016 after getting married, for instance).
But Thomas’ apparent absence this season could be more telling because he remains the subject of trade rumors and has said he may hold out if he does not get a contract extension prior to the 2018 season.
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Thomas, who turns 29 on May 7, is entering the final year of a four-year $40 million contract signed in the spring of 2014.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have said in recent weeks the team would consider trade offers for all players, including Thomas.
Schneider said at NFL league meetings last month Orlando, Fla., that the Seahawks are not currently in contract talks with Thomas. Schneider said at the NFL Combine in February that he was intended to talk with Thomas’ representatives there.
In between the Combine and league meetings, the Seahawks made a series of big roster moves, notably releasing Richard Sherman and trading Michael Bennett, which may have increased the odds that the team also looks to move Thomas.
Dallas is considered a potential likely trading partner for the Seahawks and Thomas with a report from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram this week saying Seattle wants a first-round pick and a third while Dallas would like to keep its first-rounder, which is No. 19, a spot behind the Seahawks at 18.
The first two weeks of the offseason program are devoted to conditioning and rehabilitation and the Seahawks will not do any on-field football work until Phase 2 begins on April 30.
Since the Seahawks are undoubtedly looking to acquire picks for the upcoming draft in any potential trade of Thomas, his future will likely be clarified by the draft on April 26-28.