The Ravens released Earl Thomas over the weekend after things reached a boiling point between the safety and the rest of Baltimore’s locker room. The tension became very public after a practice fight between Thomas and fellow safety Chuck Clark.
It came out after the altercation that Thomas had already begun to wear out his welcome in the locker room. The fight was merely the last straw. Thomas’ contract was officially terminated on Sunday due to “conduct that has adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens.”
Thomas, of course, will forever be a legendary piece of the Seahawks “Legion of Boom.” But Seattle notably opted not to pay him prior to the 2018 season and again the following offseason. That decision led to the infamous middle finger that Thomas lobbed at Carroll after injuring his leg four games into 2018.
Carroll has continually reiterated that he harbors no ill will toward Thomas. That was evident on Monday when he empathized with Thomas’ current situation.
“It’s been a tough time for Earl,” Carroll said over Zoom. “That’s a hard situation. I feel bad for him. I wish he could have avoided that from happening – whatever it was – I don’t know what happened, particularly. That’s a bad state to get in when they send you home.”
Thomas made $22 million for his one season with Baltimore (he signed a four-year deal) and was due $10 million guaranteed in 2020. Given the wording of why he was released, it appears the club will look to avoid paying Thomas at least a portion of that money.
"Well, I think the statement speaks for itself," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said after Sunday’s practice. "There's not much more to add to that. I'm just planning on leaving it at that at this point."
Thomas is sure to find a new home soon, but that doesn’t make his departure from Baltimore any less disappointing for the future Hall of Fame safety.