Earl Thomas’ last two years have been a bumpy ride for the seven-time Pro Bowl safety.
The Ravens cut Thomas on Sunday after he reportedly threw a punch at fellow safety Chuck Clark at practice last week, but that was merely the final straw in a tumultuous two years for the future Hall-of-Fame safety.
Thomas’ last two years, from Seattle to Baltimore, have taken many twists and turns — and sometimes for off-field incidents.
In Baltimore, players and coaches have been adamant in their responses to questions about the incident, or Thomas in the last day: They're not going to talk about it.
“I’m doing good, but right now, as a team and as an organization, we’re just moving forward and putting that situation in the rearview,” Clark said in his first time addressing reporters since the incident. “We’re just trying to get through training camp healthy and get to the first game.”
Thomas, who is a still free agent, was released for “personal conduct that has adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens.” And it wasn’t the first messy departure from an organization, either.
Thomas, a nine-year veteran in Seattle, played his last game as a Seahawk on Sept. 30, 2018. His parting image in Seattle was on a cart, with an air cast on his broken left leg. He then extended his right middle finger to the Seahawks’ sideline, and coach Pete Carroll, as he left the field.
After his time in Seattle concluded, it appeared Thomas was headed for Kansas City before Baltimore offered a four-year, $55 million deal to lure Thomas to the AFC North instead. But after a slow start as a Raven, Thomas slowly gained a better understanding of the team's defensive’ scheme — which was vastly different than the one he’d played in in Seattle. Still, the year wasn’t without its blemishes.
After a Week 4 loss to the Browns, where the Ravens’ defense was thoroughly outplayed, he reportedly confronted defensive tackle Brandon Williams because Williams didn’t play in the game. It was merely a blip on the radar, as the Browns reeled off 12-straight wins after that loss.
In the offseason, off-the-field problems plagued Thomas as his wife, Nina, was arrested in Texas after police said she pointed a gun at her husband’s head after an argument. Earl Thomas wasn’t arrested, nor implicated legally, in any way. The news was reported in early May, first by Thomas on Instagram.
Then, finally, Thomas and Clark got into dustup at practice last Friday that resulted in Clark walking off the field. Thomas was sent home and kept at home for the remainder of the day, as well as Saturday. At 12:26 pm Sunday, Thomas’ contract was terminated by the Ravens.
It was an ugly end in Baltimore for one of the era’s most dominant and recognizable safeties, but in Baltimore, the incident, and Thomas’ time as a Raven, isn’t something the team will focus on any longer.
"I'm done addressing that, honestly, and the organization (is) as well,” Clark said. “So, we're just moving forward at this point."