Earl Thomas, Ravens Separation Leaves Questions

Anthony Miller
I am currently an NFL Contributor for Infinity Sports Network as well as NFL Draft Contributor for NFL Draft Lounge. I also write about the NFL, XFL, and arena football for multiple websites.

With the Baltimore Ravens planning to move on from Earl Thomas, both sides now have uncertain futures.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Ravens are releasing Earl Thomas. The move comes after Thomas was sent home Friday for punching teammate Chuck Clark. Baltimore announced they terminated his contract for personal conduct that has adversely affected the Ravens.

Thomas took to Instagram to comment on his release from the team.

“Appreciate the Ravens organization for the opportunity,” Thomas wrote. “Had a great run .. Wish things would have ended different but you live and you learn. Thank you [Ravens GM] Eric DeCosta and everyone else who played a role in bringing him to B-More. Wish you guys the best.”

Thomas has a history of conflicts with his Ravens teammates. Last season, Thomas got into an altercation with Brandon Williams in a game against the Cleveland Browns. Sources told ESPN that Thomas had on multiple occasions been late or missed team meetings during his time.

One aspect of the story to watch is his contract and what’s remaining on the deal. Baltimore is expected to try to void his $10 million guaranteed salary this season. Thomas is expected to file a grievance as well. Should the Ravens win, Thomas will count $5 million against the cap this season and $10 million next year.

The Ravens Without Earl Thomas

Baltimore leave themselves in a tough situation at safety without Thomas in the picture. The Ravens will most likely have to turn to 2018 sixth-round pick DeShon Elliott to take Thomas’ spot. Elliott has been receiving praise from the team for his aggressiveness and potential. The problem is his lack of experience on the field leaves some question marks for the team.

Baltimore has options in free agency at safety. Eric Reid is still available after having a career year with Carolina last season. Former Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones could be another option for the team, but his age (32) and injury problems last year makes him a risk. Reid has proven to be a formable safety in the league who plays well.

Where is Thomas’s Next Destination

Multiple outlets are reporting the Dallas Cowboys could be the favorites to land Earl Thomas. The move would make a lot of sense for a Cowboys team that could use help in the secondary. Dallas released defensive tackle Gerald McCoy earlier in the week after being knocked out of the season with an injury. The move saved the team about $3 million that they could put towards signing Thomas.

Dallas signed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to play strong safety in the secondary. Adding Thomas gives the team a powerful one-two punch at safety. It could be the move the team needs to get over the hump to the Super Bowl.

Thomas has a history with Dallas in terms of wanting to join the team. He went up to former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett after a game two years ago asking Garrett to sign him. Thomas spoke with the media as well expressing his interest in playing with the Cowboys.

Issues with Thomas has been shown from his time in Baltimore, but the talent is there. Dallas has been a destination for Thomas for a while and might be the best option. The culture is strong in Dallas and the team is close to being a championship contender. Thomas and Dallas can both win in the situation.

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