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Report: ‘[Earl Thomas] has no interest in giving the Cowboys a home discount’

Roll out the Brink’s truck!

If the San Francisco 49ers are willing to pony up the cash, they could have a direct line at Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas. The soon-to-be free agent is looking to be the highest paid safety in the NFL, and is not prepared to give the Dallas Cowboys a hometown discount, according to Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill. The two sides have already met in Indianapolis, according to Hill.

Thomas grew up in Orange, Texas, played at the University of Texas, and recently set his kids up for school in Austin. Texas runs in his blood, but he is wisely looking to get a big contract in what is likely his last chance at big money.

Eric Berry is currently the highest paid safety, earning $13 million per year with the Kansas City Chiefs. Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor and Dolphins safety Reshad Jones are tied for second with deals averaging $12 million per year. It is worth noting that free agent safety Lamarcus Joyner is coming off a one year deal on the franchise tag that paid him $11,287,000.

49ers cornerback Richard Sherman is attempting to recruit Thomas, but said that if all things are equal, the safety would sign with the Cowboys. With no hometown discount on the table, the 49ers have the edge over Dallas. The Cowboys have $49.4 million in cap space, while the 49ers have $69.2 million. The big difference however is that the Cowboys will have to factor in a $20 million franchise tag for DeMarcus Lawrence if they don’t get a deal done. Additionally, Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper are both hitting free agency next offseason, while Ezekiel Elliott will be entering his fifth year option.

Dallas could potentially get all these deals done, but it would cost them elsewhere. They might be more inclined to address the safety position in the draft if they don’t want to make Thomas the highest paid safety in the league. The 49ers could as well, but they don’t have the same pressing issues at this point. It’s one of the upsides of poor drafting over a stretch of years coupled with some quality recent contracts with free agent additions (and the Jimmy Garoppolo deal taking the big hit last year).

We don’t really know how much interest John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have in Thomas, but if they want him bad enough, he’s there for the signing.