The legendary ‘Legion of Boom’ was a worthy nickname for the Seattle Seahawks’ defence a few years ago. However, in recent years, the most notable members of the group began to fall like dominoes one after the other. Michael Bennett was traded to Philadelphia last season, Richard Sherman departed and headed to San Francisco after he refused to take a pay cut in the most recent free agency period and Kam Chancellor retired due to health concerns.
Thus leaving only a couple of members of the, once star-studded, defence such as linebacker Bobby Wagner and, the focal point of this article, 3-time all-pro safety Earl Thomas. Thomas believes that the talents he’s proven to have day-in day-out are not being respected enough by the Seahawks and, in an article that he wrote himself, stated that he wants one of 2 things:
“Offer me an extension”
“Trade me to a team that wants me to be part of their future”
I pulled these quotes from a website called theplayerstribune.com and was part of an article written by Thomas in August earlier this year.
Now, in my opinion, the guy deserves to be paid well and is definitely a top 3 safety in the league. On top of his 3 all-pro appearances Thomas has also had: 6 pro-bowl selections as well as a staggering statline of 28 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and 3 defensive touchdowns across his 9 seasons in the league. So the debate about whether or not he has the talent is out the question; of course he does.
Now let’s take a look at the Chiefs situation. We’re currently sitting pretty with a 3-0 record, however, we do have an ugly side; our defence. Luckily, it seems like no one can stop our high-powered offence; but we also can’t seem to stop anyone either when we’re on defence. Leading to huge shootout games (the lowest amount of points we’ve scored in one game this season is a whopping 38 points).
So defence is, without a doubt, the biggest need of improvement moving forward. Especially with our own all-pro player Eric Berry still out from injury alongside fellow safety Daniel Sorensen. Therefore surely the Chiefs should pounce on the opportunity to bring aboard such a renowned defender to help take us to the next level. Well, as amazing as it would be, its not as easy as that.
The first question that needs to be asked is: just how much is Earl Thomas worth?
Seattle did in fact already turn down a proposal from Dallas for Thomas; who offered a second round pick for the safety. Therefore they must be looking for more; which the Chiefs have. We picked up another 2019 second round pick in the Marcus Peters trade with the LA Rams which means we could in theory offer two second rounders. Also, assuming the Chiefs and Rams both perform as they’re expected to, both picks will be particularly late in the round. So will this be enough for the Seahawks to accept a trade? But, more importantly for the Chiefs, is Thomas actually worth that much?
Well to work that out you have to understand the rest of the situation in Kansas City at the moment; which largely comes down to what the contract situation will be at the end of this season. If we were to sign Thomas, who’s actively unhappy with his $8.5 million contract at the Seahawks, we’d have to offer him a contract extension after the 2017 season. However with Tyreek Hill, Chris Jones and Kendall Fuller all in the market for an extension at the same time, it would mean playing around with veteran contracts to try and make it all fit. This could then disgruntle others on the team and even lead to us losing some players who we consider key to our success moving forward.
We currently have just over $8 million of cap space left for the team therefore, with all those potential extensions looming, being able to get Thomas, and keep him long term, seems less and less likely.
So, what about just for the season? Well it then boils down to this: Is having Thomas on the team, for not even a full season, worth, potentially, 2 second round picks? Considering that we would then ship him off to another franchise for less than we originally paid for him. Say, for argument’s sake, we did trade him for 2 second rounders which we could have used to draft two young DBs for the future, would the performance of Thomas and the loss of these draft picks work in our favour?
I think, to make this trade worthwhile, we would need to acquire Thomas knowing that we’re going for a deep post-season, or even Superbowl, run this season. Otherwise, throwing away 2 potential stars in the draft, for the limited benefits we’d reap, would be nowhere near worthwhile for the team.
On the other hand, as I touched upon earlier, attempting to keep Thomas for a longer duration of time could end up in a huge mess for the team as far as cap space and contracts are concerned. Therefore we could end up losing more than we gained.
So, with all that taken into account, and I know how disappointing this will sound, but I don’t think putting a trade together for Earl Thomas would be beneficial for the team in the short, or long, term; unless we managed to pull off a Superbowl run this year.