25-Year-Old Safety – Seattle Seahawks
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
Thomas has always earned extremely high marks for his effectiveness in real football terms – he's widely recognized as one of the top players on Seattle's league-best defense – but his IDP utility nev...
Earl Thomas Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $40 million extension, with $27.725 million guaranteed, with the Seahawks in April of 2014.
Thomas will return punts this season, coach Pete Carroll confirmed to 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2014 Proj||25||SEA||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Earl Thomas|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Earl Thomas: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Thomas has never returned a punt or kick during the regular season, but he did rip off a 59-yard punt return against the Bears in Seattle's third game this preseason. He has the athleticism to succeed in the role, and he might be able to tack on a touchdown or two through special teams. However, there's also the added risk of injury, which led fellow Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor to call it a bad idea, ESPN.com reports. Of course, Chancellor doesn't have much say in the matter, and it's far more telling that the Seahawks were willing to let Thomas return punts in the preseason.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but it's said to make Thomas the highest-paid safety in the league. The 24-year-old was set to hit free agency in 2015, but the club wasted no time in locking up their three-time Pro Bowler. Thomas is fresh off a productive 2013, in which he posted a career-best 105 combined tackles, tied a career high with five interceptions, and played a major role in the secondary of the Super Bowl Champion Seahawks.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Thomas is coming off a remarkably weak IDP campaign in which he totaled just 61 tackles, but that number seems like a fluke, and few safeties have Thomas' ball skills. After such an improbably unproductive year, it's time for the pendulum to swing back for Thomas. He had 92 tackles in the 2011 season, and he's due for a breakout interception season after pulling in only five over the last two seasons. A stronger Seattle pass rush should help him on that front.
Thomas was the heavy favorite to be Seattle's the top IDP option last year, but his failure to meet that mark had more to do with Kam Chancellor's surprising ascent rather than any decline on Thomas' part. The 2010 first-round pick finished last year with 98 tackles (69 solo) and two interceptions. It was basically the opposite stat line than what was expected from Thomas, who is known for his coverage skills rather than his tackling ability. He remains one of the league's most talented safeties, in any case, so he could find a happy medium between last year's tackle-heavy stats and the turnover potential he showed as a rookie when he intercepted five passes. It's worth noting that though Thomas' ceiling doesn't appear to be as high as Chancellor's, Thomas' floor is arguably higher since he hasn't missed a game in his two NFL seasons.
The list of safeties that can match Thomas’ potential as a coverage specialist is very short. The 14th overall pick from the 2010 draft is a rangy playmaker with cornerback-like speed and generally good instincts. His short-term fantasy value might be limited due to his modest run-stopping abilities, however, as he finished last year with a mostly average total of 76 tackles (64 solo). He really hit the rookie wall toward the end of the year, totaling just 13 tackles (11 solo) in his last five games, but the 22-year-old should be more consistent in his sophomore season.
The 14th overall pick in the 2010 Draft, Thomas is expected to start at free safety for Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, replacing Jordan Babineaux whose 104 tackles ranked fifth among defensive backs last season. At 5-10, 197, Thomas is a touch on the small side for an NFL safety — he’s more of a cornerback/safety ‘tweener at this point — but is highly regarded for his ball-hawking skills. He’s not known for his tackling, but as Babineaux showed last season, the opportunities should be there. And whatever tackles he leaves on the field, he should make up for it with picks as he has great range.