Kyle’s update, 9:30 a.m. PT: Thomas has been released:
We have terminated S Earl Thomas’ contract for personal conduct that has adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 23, 2020
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Baltimore Ravens are moving on from safety Earl Thomas after he punched his teammate. Schefter said the Ravens will attempt to trade Thomas, and if that doesn’t work, they’ll will release him. Then, Ian Rapoport said this:
A few other teams to watch for #Ravens S Earl Thomas upon him being released: The #49ers and #Texans. They should be among those inquiring, along with the #Cowboys. Thomas, of course, will have a market.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 23, 2020
A team would have to be pretty desperate to trade for Thomas with that news. Trading for a 31-year-old safety who has a cap number of $15 million for 2020 doesn’t seem wise. Thomas has two more years on his deal after 2020, where you’d have to eat $5 million in cap space each season.
If this was the Thomas of yesteryear, then sure, make a move for an All-Pro free safety. Thomas is no longer the player that many fans knew him as. Look no further than his game against the 49ers last season. Thomas struggles to make plays in the open field, as Raheem Mostert showed. Thomas missed a tackle on 14% of his attempts. As the last line of defense, that’s a no-no. For reference, Jimmie Ward missed 4% of his tackles in 2019. Plus, based on training camp, the 49ers safeties have been arguably the best position group on the team. You can see the camaraderie the group has together.
Labels were a little small on the first one. This is a little better. pic.twitter.com/xHDXeo0vve— Seth Walder (@SethWalder) August 23, 2020
Thomas is still a competent player, but with his contract, the 49ers wouldn’t be able to afford him. If Thomas is released, the Ravens would have to take on his entire cap number of $15 million. Would that mean Thomas would be willing to sign for less to play for a Super Bowl contender? We’ll find out.