The Earl Thomas grievance against the Ravens is still pending
Friday’s Schefty-fueled announcement that Earl Thomas wants to play football again (if teams were truly interested, a favor from Schefty wouldn’t have been needed) served as a reminder that his prior time in the NFL ended in acrimony with the Ravens. More specifically, Thomas filed a grievance.
Thomas was due to earn a guaranteed base salary of $10 million in 2020. The Ravens cut him. The argument against paying him would be, as a long-time agent characterized it at the time, groundbreaking.
Although the term “fully-guaranteed” gets commonly used when assessing new contracts, the more accurate term is “guaranteed for skill, injury, and cap.” Baltimore’s position is that the money is not guaranteed against a termination based on personal conduct that has adversely affected the team.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the grievance remains unresolved. A settlement remains possible; that’s always the case in situations like this. If a ruling ultimately is rendered -- and if the Ravens win -- the case will give other teams a roadmap for potentially getting around otherwise guaranteed money, if/when a player does something that justifies a finding that he engaged in personal conduct that adversely affected the team.