Earl Thomas done in Baltimore. Should the Cleveland Browns be interested?
The talent of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas has never been in question. Since the day he was drafted with the 14th overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft, Thomas has been an impact player.
On the field, there can be no denying that the 10-year veteran is still among the best at the safety position.
The news coming out of Baltimore, reported by Adam Schefter, is that the Ravens are planning to trade or release Thomas for conduct detrimental to the team. Would Thomas be a good fit for the Cleveland Browns?
A similar question was raised about Jamal Adams, who coincidentally enough ended up with Thomas’ former team the Seattle Seahawks a few weeks ago. Although both are immensely talented players, the final answer is the same but for different reasons. The Browns should pass on Thomas, just as they did on Adams.
The reason for passing on Adams had more to do contract extensions and wanting to retain homegrown talent. Passing on Thomas has everything to do with chemistry. Thomas would be available for trade on his Raven’s contract which would not shatter the Browns cap situation, but the juice is just not worth the squeeze.
Thomas, as talented as he is, is obviously a malcontent. Look no further, than the images of him being carted off the field for his final time as a member of the Seahawks as he flipped off his entire sideline. That’s how he felt about the team that drafted him and made him the league’s highest-paid safety. By the end of his time in Seattle, he was openly campaigning for the Dallas Cowboys to trade for him.
When he got the opportunity to leave, he signed a four-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens. The extremely front-loaded contract contained a $32 million dollar guarantee. After only one year in Baltimore, it appears that Thomas is on the outs with a franchise yet again. This time, Thomas’ dubious off-season exploits and a fight where he punched teammate Chuck Clark during a practice appear to be the reasons for being shown the door. The bottom line is Thomas is a distraction in the locker room and the Ravens have seen enough.
The Browns completely revamped their safety room this offseason. With only two players returning at the position from last year’s team, new anointed General Manager, Andrew Berry signed veteran free agents Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo. Then in the 2020 NFL draft, Berry snagged Grant Delpit with a clutch second-round pick. The Browns would be wise to let their newly added nucleus develop and see what they can do on the field before adding a high-risk talent like Thomas.
The Browns have a young team and adding a veteran with Super Bowl experience would sound like a solid plan. However, if you add a veteran it needs to be one that can set an example and Thomas is clearly not that guy. Perhaps he will get his wish and end up with a team like the Cowboys. As long as Thomas does not end up in Pittsburgh, then best of luck to him.
While the Browns’ safety position is by no means carved in stone, every indication is that the position group is headed in the right direction. All three of the new additions have made good showings of themselves during this condensed training camp. Adding Thomas would be an unnecessary risk that the Browns do not to take. Let someone else take that bullet, Dallas we are looking at you.