The Seahawks are not expected to place a franchise tag on Earl Thomas, assuring he will become a free agent next March and all-but-assuring he is done in Seattle.
The Seahawks do not intend to place a franchise tag on Earl Thomas, almost assuring he will become an unrestricted free agent in March and likely moving on from Seattle, according to a report Sunday morning from ESPN.com.
The report also stated that Thomas,, who suffered a broken left tibia in last Sunday’s game at Arizona, soon “will undergo surgery that is expected to sideline him three to four months, meaning he likely will be ready to undergo physicals for any interested teams during free agency.” An NFL Network reported stated that Thomas having surgery “increases the chance of healing and lowers refracture rates.”
That, of course, raises the question of why Thomas did not have surgery when he had a similar injury in 2016.
Said Thomas in June of 2017 when asked why he did not have surgery then: “I wasn’t getting surgery. When I got surgery on my shoulder (following the 2014 season), it feels good. But I don’t want nothing in my leg. When they told me there was like a 50 percent chance it would heal naturally, I said I’m going to take the 50 percent chance.”
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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll declined to speculate on Monday when asked if Thomas not having surgery following the 2016 injury may have contributed to being injured now (and for what it’s worth, Thomas obviously played the 2017 season without re-injury).
“I don’t know that,” Carroll said. “I don’t know about that. I don’t know how they conferred on that. I’m not sure.”
Asked earlier in the week about Thomas having surgery this time Carroll said he didn’t know.
As the ESPN story noted, a tag for Thomas would be close to $12 million — all of which teams have to take on that year’s salary cap — and it had never been thought it was a serious option for Seattle due to the high number as well as that it wouldn’t really solve the problem of Thomas wanting his long-term future secured. Seattle has not used a franchise tag since 2010, when it did so on kicker Olindo Mare.
Thomas will turn 30 on May 7.