orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Sports Headlines

April 29, 2014

Thomas, Seahawks agree on big contract

ORANGE — Earl Thomas’ work ethic from his early childhood up to now has paid huge dividends, including a Super Bowl Championship this year for the former West Orange-Stark standout and safety for the Seattle Seahawks.

The All-Pro has made big headlines for his play on the field and made big headlines Monday as it was reported that Thomas and the Seahawks agreed on a blockbuster four-year contract extension worth $40 million with $27.725 guaranteed, per a source informed of the situation.

The deal will make Thomas easily the highest-paid safety in the NFL.

 The 24-year-old Thomas was a lynchpin to the Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl championship. His size, speed, hitting ability and nose for the football make him one of the NFL's most indispensable defensive backs.

Thomas was viewed as a legitimate candidate for Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 -- a surprise from a position often overlooked during awards time. He placed third in voting, with the Panthers' Luke Kuechly taking home the award.

Thomas was the team's first-round pick in 2010, and he's started all 16 games each season since being drafted. Already the best safety in the NFL, Thomas will now be paid like it.

Prior to Thomas' new deal, Jairus Byrd ($9 million) and Eric Berry ($8.4 million) had the highest base salaries from the safety position, per spotrac.com. Byrd signed a six-year, $54 million contract with the New Orleans Saints this offseason, including a $11 million signing bonus ($26.3 million guaranteed).

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