Throughout the 2018 offseason, the Redskins brass eschewed chances at signing big name free agents.
Washington made one blockbuster move, the trade to acquire Alex Smith during Super Bowl week, but the Redskins have been relatively quiet since. The team added Paul Richardson as a free agent, but he was hardly the most high-profile receiver on the market. In fact, the most high-profile wideout on the market is still there in Dez Bryant, and Washington made it clear they have no interest.
Now, Seattle safety Earl Thomas has publicly said he wants a new contract, and that could mean it needs to come from another team. Read the full statement but the most important part reads,
"I want to remain a Seahawk for the rest of my career but also believe that based on my production over the last eight years that I've earned the right to have this taken care of as soon as possible."
Let's clear up a few things: Thomas is still a very good player. While part of the Seahawks legendary Legion of Boom secondary, Thomas won a Super Bowl, played in another, made five Pro Bowls and was named All-Pro three times.
Talent like Thomas doesn't often become available, and considering the offseason in Seattle that saw a number of players jettisoned, maybe the safety will land somewhere else before the NFL season starts in September.
But don't expect that to be in Washington.
There are a few factors, but the one at the top is the organization's belief in Montae Nicholson. The young safety looked explosive in six starts last year, and this offseason head coach Jay Gruden compared Nicholson's importance on the defense to that of Jordan Reed on the offense. That's high praise.
Like everything in life, money is also a huge factor.
As currently constituted the Redskins have about $13 million in salary cap space remaining. Thomas is due to make more than $10 million this season in the final year of his contract, but by most accounts, expects to make at least $13 million per season in a new deal. That isn't just a made up figure, it marks the salary of Eric Berry, the NFL's highest paid safety.
Trading for Thomas without a new deal in place for 2019 and beyond would make no sense, and for Washington, 2019 and beyond is quite murky right now. The team has decisions to make for both Jamison Crowder and Preston Smith, two highly productive pieces in the final year of rookie deals, and next season the 'Skins brass will have to figure out a contract extension for Brandon Scherff.
Some money could get freed up next season if certain veteran players get released, but that money won't be available immediately.
Plus compensating the Seahawks for Thomas' services needs to be addressed. This is one area the Redskins are actually in a great spot, as the team has a boatload of draft picks next season.
Washington does have the picks needed to trade for Thomas, depending on the type of package Seattle wants. But that also assumes Seattle will consider moving Thomas, which is no sure thing either. It's entirely possible Thomas' decision to skip minicamp will get Seattle to the negotiating table and get a deal done with their star.
Simply put, the Redskins have not shown a willingness to go after top market stars. The team doesn't seem interested in paying those costs, and while Thomas is only 29, he would turn 30 next year in what would likely be the first year of a new fat contract. That hasn't been the Redskins way under Bruce Allen and Doug Williams.
Could a move happen? Because the Redskins did so well with compensatory picks this offseason, yes it could.
Don't expect it though.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
— Contract years: Redskins face 5 tough decisions
— Dead Money: Trades, misses and mistakes hurt Redskins salary cap
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