Speculation rose of a possible trade when Thomas didn't take part in practice Friday. But there was no trade on Saturday and no reports of anything imminent.
Adding evidence that a pending trade was not why Earl Thomas did not take part in Seahawks practice on Friday, Saturday came and went without Seattle making any changes to its roster.
That means Thomas is on the team’s 53-man active roster for Sunday’s 1:25 p.m. game against Dallas, having apparently taking part in activities with the Seahawks on Saturday (when the team conducts a light walk-through and meetings).
Thomas mysteriously didn’t take part in Seahawks’ practice on Friday with coach Pete Carroll saying the reason he did so was “personal in nature” and ruling out that he was injured or being given a rest day. Thomas was also present for the practice, watching from the sidelines, appearing to rule out any sort of personal emergency that required him to be elsewhere.
That led to speculation by some that maybe a trade was in the offing. But all indications Friday — as well as an NFL.com report — was that a trade had nothing to do with sitting out Friday’s practice. And Saturday came and went without a move being made, confirming that Friday’s absence was not related to a trade.
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That doesn’t mean a trade couldn’t still happen down the road — Thomas has made it clear he’d love to play for the Cowboys and Dallas is thought to have offered Seattle a third-round pick before the draft last April. For those reasons Dallas remains a logical option as a trade partner in the future if the Cowboys either up their offer (it’s been thought Seattle wants at least a second-round pick) or the Seahawks get to a point where they are willing to take less (or another team gets into the bidding). The NFL trade deadline is Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. Seattle time, or after the Seahawks’ seventh game of the season on Oct. 28 at Detroit.
Some have wondered if the Seahawks might be more willing to trade Thomas to Dallas once the two teams have played — the Seahawks acquired left tackle Duane Brown from Houston two days after the Seahawks and Texans played at CenturyLink Field last October and it was revealed later that Houston and Seattle had been talking for about two months.
So maybe something does happen with Thomas sooner rather than later. But Saturday proved that for now, that’s not the reason he didn’t practice Friday.
So why didn’t he? Most speculation pointed to Thomas maybe just letting the team know he remains unhappy with his situation — he wants an extension of a four-year, $40 million deal that expires at the end of this season — and possibly keeping true to his words after the Denver game that he will “just put the best product out there as possible, protect myself until I do get paid.”
Carroll said after Friday’s practice that he wouldn’t commit to Thomas playing against Dallas Sunday saying “we’ll see how he’s doing. We’ll make sure he’s okay.”
Maybe that, too, was something of a message, the team letting Thomas know that it also wields some power in this situation.
There was no official word Saturday that Thomas would play — there is no media availability on the day before the game and the team doesn’t have to make a declaration of whether Thomas will or won’t play, unlike those who miss practices due to injury. But all expectations were that barring something drastic changing between Saturday and kickoff that Thomas will play.
If Thomas were to sit out then second-year player Tedric Thompson would play in his place.
Shortly after giving rather clipped comments about Thomas, Carroll raved about the progress of Thompson, a fourth-round pick out of Colorado in 2017.
“He’s doing fine,” Carroll said. “He really hasn’t taken anything but positive steps the whole time he’s had this off season all the way through the games, everything. He’s done really well. So, he can do a lot of stuff. He can cover man to man, he can play zone stuff and all of the things that we want to do. The tricks and all, he’s really on it. He’s a good ball player.”
But for now, Thomas remains Seattle’s free safety, even if Friday seemed to indicate nothing seems certain when it comes to his future.