Earl Thomas
Earl Thomas
29-Year-Old SafetyS
Seattle Seahawks
Injury Lower Leg
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Thomas ended his holdout just a few days before the season opener and will be Seattle's starting free safety. He's one of the league's top safeties, compiling 88 tackles, seven pass breakups and two interceptions last season. He'll be leaned on heavily this season as the only member left from the once-threatening Legion of Boom. In fact, he's the only player in the secondary to have legitimate starting experience. Thus, he should be considered a stellar IDP option with extra opportunities to shine. Read Past Outlooks
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$Signed a four-year, $40 million contract with the Seahawks in April of 2014.
Will have leg surgery
SSeattle Seahawks
October 7, 2018
Thomas will have surgery to place a rod in his left leg, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
The procedure will increase his odds of making a full recovery, and he'll aim to be healthy by March 11 when free agency opens. The 29-year-old safety won't play for the rest of this season, and due to his frustrations with Seattle's front office, it's unlikely he re-signs with the Seahawks.
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Measurables Review
How do Earl Thomas' measurables compare to other safeties?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
5' 10"
202 lbs
40-Yard Dash
4.43 sec
Broad Jump
113 in
Bench Press
21 reps
Hand Length
9.38 in
Arm Length
31.25 in
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Earl Thomas
East Coast Offense: The Giants Were Right to Draft Saquon Barkley
October 16th
Chris Liss argues Barkley is already the best back in the NFL and worth the No. 2 pick given the particular quarterbacks available.
NFL Game Previews: Redskins-Saints Matchup
October 4th
Erik Siegrist analyzes the Monday night matchup as Drew Brees and the Saints look to keep rolling at home against the Redskins.
Survivor: Surviving Week 5
October 3rd
Chris Liss is taking the chalk with Tom Brady and the Patriots at home against the Colts on Thursday night.
Weekly Rankings: Week 5 Value Meter
October 2nd
Corey Davis was making plays all over the field against the Eagles last week. Can he continue that level this week - see his and all other Week 5 rankings here.
NFL Reactions: Making Up Lost Time
September 30th
Mitch Trubisky was a wreck in the first three weeks, but he destroyed the Buccaneers defense Sunday and heads into his bye week with strong momentum.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
One of the best safeties in the league, Thomas heads into 2017 looking to rebound after a disheartening end to the 2016 campaign. The hard-hitting defensive back was placed on injured reserve after fracturing his tibia in Week 13, ending his season with 48 tackles, 10 pass defensed, two interceptions and a touchdown in 11 contests. While the injury was devastating, even causing Thomas to question retirement last season, the Pro Bowler is expected to be good and ready for the start of the regular season. Once the most dominant portion of an electrifying defense, the Legion of Boom has plenty of uncertainty heading into 2017 given Thomas and Kam Chancellor's injuries and Richard Sherman's discontent with the team. Although Thomas took a step back last season, it'd be foolish to not consider a top IDP safety as long as he can remain healthy.
Thomas has been maddeningly difficult to forecast from year to year. The skill set is a constant – he's simply an excellent safety, one of the best in recent memory – but his presence in the box score has proven highly volatile for whatever reason. It's safe to say he's one of the best bets among safeties to produce a standout interception total in any given year, but the tackle totals fluctuate wildly. He has three seasons with 92 or more, but the other three saw 71 or fewer tackles logged. Still, Thomas is worth selecting in this range because he has DB1 upside if you get the tackling version.
The league's premier playmaker at free safety, Thomas has even more interception upside than his career stats show — he's rangy, athletic and runs like a cornerback even as he provides a big-hitting presence in the secondary. He has 16 interceptions in five seasons but could be due for an interception spree behind's Seattle's fierce pass rush after snagging just one last season. He's had nearly 100 tackles in three of the last four years, a fluky 61-tackle season in 2012 the lone exception. Thomas played with a torn labrum in the Super Bowl and might not be ready for training camp, but is expected to be healthy for Week 1.
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 never really matched his real-life value before last season. His 92-tackle 2011 season was sandwiched between a 71-tackle 2010 rookie season and a 61-tackle 2012 season, so he didn't seem like much of a tackle-source heading into last year. Thomas went off in 2013, making 105 stops (78 solo) to go along with five interceptions, increasing his career interception total to 15. While Thomas' year-to-year tackle fluctuation implies that he might be a bit more risky than some of the other players in this range, his risk factor is offset a bit by his consistency in coverage. He has two five-interception seasons in his five-year career, and he should continue making plays in coverage thanks to Seattle's dominant pass rush forcing bad throws.
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.
More Fantasy News
Officially on IR
SSeattle Seahawks
October 2, 2018
The Seahawks placed Thomas (leg) on injured reserve Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
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Won't play again this season
SSeattle Seahawks
October 1, 2018
Coach Pete Carroll confirmed Monday that Thomas (leg) won't play again in 2018, Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio 950 KJR Seattle reports.
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Diagnosed with broken leg
SSeattle Seahawks
Lower Leg
September 30, 2018
Thomas suffered a lower left leg fracture during Sunday's 20-17 win over the Cardinals, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports.
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Carted off field Sunday
SSeattle Seahawks
September 30, 2018
Thomas injured his left leg in Sunday's game against the Cardinals and was carted off the field Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
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Snags two picks
SSeattle Seahawks
September 23, 2018
Thomas made seven tackles (six solo), two pass breakups and two interceptions against the Cowboys on Sunday.
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