The Seattle Times has confirmed the multiple reports that broke earlier this hour that Seahawks have come to an agreement with safety Earl Thomas (above) on a four-extension that will make him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com is reporting that Thomas will get $40 million, averaging $10 million a year, with $27.725 million guaranteed:
Seattle has been working on this for a while, clearing up cap space to be able to sign Thomas. Seattle had $14.7 million in cap space for the 2014 season according to the most recent figures from the NFLPA.
Thomas was due to make $4.625 million in 2014 on the last year of his initial rookie contract, and would have been an unrestricted free agent following the season. Since this is an extension, Thomas will now be under contract through the 2018 season, making a combined $45 million over the next five years.
Thomas was hoping for a contract that would exceed the six-year, $54 million deal recently given to New Orleans’ Jairus Byrd. Byrd’s contract came with $26.3 million guaranteed.
Thomas, who turns 25 on May 7, has been named to the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons in providing the backbone to the team’s Legion of Boom secondary from his free safety position.
The Seahawks are also known to be working on an extension for cornerback Richard Sherman, who can also be an unrestricted free agent following the 2014 season.
We’ll continue to update this as news develops.
UPDATE — While the Seahawks have yet to officially confirm the signing, reaction is already coming in from some of Thomas’ teammates via Twitter: