Should the Packers Consider Trading for Earl Thomas?
Seahawks veteran safety Earl Thomas took to social media this week and issued an ultimatum to his team, telling them to extend him or trade him. Thomas, who is in the final year of his contract, is seeking a contract that is comparable to Eric Berry who signed a 6 year $78 million contract prior to last season.
Prior to the 2018 draft, rumors began to surface that the Cowboys were interested in acquiring Earl Thomas for a first or second round pick but that deal went by the wayside and has since been characterized as “media hype”. Now the Earl Thomas trade rumors amongst potential suitors have begun to resurface due to his desire to have his contract situation addressed sometime in the very near future.
The Seahawks roster looks to be heading into a transitional period with the release of Richard Sherman, the medical retirement of Cam Chancellor, and the departure of Jimmy Graham. At this point, it is not out of the realm of possibility for Seattle to consider rebuilding their roster by accumulating draft picks and renouncing large contracts with significant upcoming cap hits.
Throughout the offseason, the Seahawks have maintained that they believe that Earl Thomas is a franchise player and a Seahawk for life, but they have not been in a hurry to take any of the necessary steps to resolve his current contract situation. This could be because Thomas, 29, is entering his 9th NFL season and has fought through some recent injuries, including a broken leg that he thought may end his career.
If the Seahawks and Thomas cannot come to an agreement on a contract extension, it would certainly behoove Brian Gutekunst and the Packers to make a call to their old friend, John Schneider and discuss the possibility of bringing Earl Thomas to Green Bay. The Packers and Seahawks could be viable trade partners because of the front office familiarity and because Green Bay has draft capital heading into the 2019 NFL draft with two first-round selections.
Why Trade for Earl Thomas?
From Green Bay’s perspective, Thomas is a future Hall of Famer and a high character person that would be a welcomed addition in the Packers locker room. He has a reputation for putting his body on the line each and every snap, that he is on the field. He is a leader in the defensive backfield whose presence changes the outcome of a game with his high impact hits and his nose for the ball. Acquiring Thomas would also provide the Packers with stability and another veteran presence in a very young defensive backfield.
Is Thomas Worth His Weight in Gold?
There is no doubt that Earl Thomas’s presence would dramatically improve any secondary in the NFL. So, let’s just cut to the chase and ask the question of whether Thomas is worthy of the cost it will take to land him in Green Bay.
In any transaction involving a three time all pro and six-time pro bowl player, you will have to give up a significant haul to acquire his services. However, with Thomas’s contract demands things could potentially set up the perfect storm for the Packers to acquire him without having to give up the preverbal “king’s ransom”.
With this being the case, the Packers should definitely consider trading for Earl Thomas in the event that his contract situation remains unresolved and he becomes available in the upcoming weeks. He would be a short-term investment that would be a difference maker for a defense that is desperately seeking legitimacy.
Earl Thomas could change the identity of the Packers defense just like Charles Woodson did when he arrived in Green Bay. Thomas finds himself at a crossroads in his career similar to that of Charles Woodson. Thomas wants to show his critics that he is still an all-pro player who is still capable of being the cornerstone of a franchise. Acquiring Earl Thomas would establish a new core and a new heartbeat of the Packers defense and gives them a championship pedigree in the defensive backfield.
Earl’s Value to the Packers:
Trade offer: The Packers 2019 first/or second round pick for S Earl Thomas
Contract Offer: 4 years $56 million ($36 million guaranteed, $25 million signing bonus)
*Signing Bonus will alleviate his 2018 and 2019 salary cap hits
When thinking about whether or not Earl Thomas is worth his weight in gold, it is important to first consider whether you believe he provides a greater value then one of the Packers first round picks. At this point, the timing is right for the Packers to add a veteran future hall of fame presence into the fold in order to reestablish their NFC supremacy.
David Michalski is a recent college graduate from Princeton New Jersey who has been a life long Green Bay Packers fan. Like the great Vince Lombardi, he values God, family, and the Green Bay Packers in that order. You can follow him on twitter at @kilbas27dave