Earl Thomas could be out of Cowboys’ price range

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Earl Thomas wants to become the highest-paid safety in the NFL, with a deal worth more than the $13 million annual contract of Chiefs safety Eric Berry, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. That’s not good news for Cowboys fans, who had their hearts set on their team signing Thomas.

If the Seahawks’ safety, who played high school and college football in Texas, won’t give the Cowboys a “hometown discount,” as Hill reports, then Thomas will be out of the Cowboys’ price range.

Thomas will get more money to sign elsewhere.

The Cowboys have big contracts with their own players to get done.

They gave DeMarcus Lawrence a first contract offer this week, and the sides will talk in the coming days in hopes of getting Lawrence a long-term deal before Tuesday’s franchise tag deadline. Lawrence made $17.1 million under the franchise tag last season, as did Detroit defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, which made them the highest-paid 4-3 defensive ends last season.

When all is said and done, Lawrence’s average per season will be even more.

The Cowboys also will have to make Dak Prescott one of the highest-paid quarterbacks, Ezekiel Elliott one of the highest-paid running backs, Amari Cooper one of the highest-paid receivers and Byron Jones one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the near term to keep them long term. So they are higher priorities than any free agents on the open market.

In the past six offseasons, the Cowboys have stayed out of the big-name, big-money free agent market. Cornerback Brandon Carr was the last free agent from another team the Cowboys committed huge money, signing him to a five-year, $50.1 million deal in 2012.

Since then, the Cowboys have built through the draft and have done a good job at it.

So Thomas likely finds a better deal elsewhere, with the Cowboys looking elsewhere to shore up the position.

53 responses to “Earl Thomas could be out of Cowboys’ price range

  1. The Cowboys also will have to make Dak Prescott one of the highest-paid quarterbacks

    That wouldn’t make any sense at all.

  2. Highest paid safety shouldn’t be a self centered dude that can’t stay healthy. I’d take Harrison Smith all day long over ET.

  3. This will be a test case to see if JJ is really being phased out and if the Cowboys have committed to the direction they have been successfully following the last several years. Thomas is over the hill and injury prone. If you pay what he is asking you are paying for what he did not what he is going to do. Didn’t fix the broken bone properly to play NFL football, and is 30+ years old.

  4. What is this “reporting”? Cowboy fans have “their hearts set” on Thomas? Not if he costs this much. He “likely finds a better deal elsewhere”? Who says? Maybe a team lines up to pay a guy who has been injured 3 years in a row and is entering his 10th year of an NFL pounding huge money, maybe not. It all depends on the market, which is a mystery at this stage – except that the team most known to want Thomas (Dallas) apparently already is out of top-position money.

    Meanwhile, Prescott will have to be extended as “one of the top-paid QBs”? Only in the clickbait media. Derek Carr’s extension 3 years ago was on paper the highest AAV salary in NFL history…except over the deal so far he hasn’t even averaged in the top 10 of QBs in terms of cap hits. And before you make the mistake of thinking the deal was frontloaded, his salaries actually go DOWN going forward. When Carr’s contract is up, he won’t even have been paid in the top 15 of the position, and Prescott is in line for a similar type of deal.

  5. I think they’re better off looking elsewhere. He’s been injured in each of the last three seasons not to mention he’ll be 30 when the season starts.

  6. He had a monster run from 2013-2015 but that’s a long time ago by NFL standards. He’s a good leader on the field but not sure that will translate into him being the highest paid safety in the game at the age of 30 coming off a major injury.

  7. $13M is a lot of cheddar for IR 2 of the last 3 years, and on the wrong side of 30. He has a ring, so he’ll sign with the highest bidder over a team that was a contender last season.

  8. Caveat emptor.
    Over the hill, oft-injured, and self-inflated sense of worth should all be red flags.
    Let some other team sign him and regret that they did.

  9. Highest paid safety???? Not in my book…maybe 4 years ago when healthy. he has missed 19 games over the last 3 seasons.

    Wear and tear is taking it’s toll on him. If he missed 3 – 6 games a season he isn’t worth top dollar.

  10. They should not pay Prescott more than 10mil/yr… anything more will be a waste of capspace

  11. Get yo money Earl. Seattle would have gifted you the contract(past achievement) reward you were after if they hadn’t already given out free money to Bennett and Chancellor.

  12. He is not worth that kind of money, simple as that. Dallas has young, good backs. Could Thomas help? Sure, but not for that money. Not a good idea. He wont be a Cowboy. Mark it.

  13. How can they afford to give huge contracts to Lawrence, Prescott, Elliott, Cooper and Jones huge contracts? If they do those five will take up over 50% of the salary cap. What’s going to happen to that OL when they are in line for new contracts? Some of the aforementioned five guys will have to go. Personally, I wouldn’t give Cooper a truckload of money unless it’s in the form of incentives.

    I think in about two years the Cowboys are going to be in cap purgatory.

  14. A 29 year old safety, with a significant injury history wants to become the highest paid safety in a market that is terribly soft right now, with a deep defensive draft happening?
    Man, good luck Earl.

  15. “and is 30+ years old”

    Earl Thomas is 29. Yes, he will turn 30 this year, everyone get’s one year older each year.

    Thomas still will have a very postitive impact on a defense. I do not think he will get the 13 mill a year he wants, but I don’t fault him for asking for it. That is how you negotiate. You start high and work out a decent deal for yourself.

  16. Make him an offer that is within their salary cap structure & if he doesn’t like it he can go somewhere else….plain & simple.

    Then we will see how much he really wants to be a Cowboy.

  17. Texas teams have one advantage in contract negotiations over those in many other states, especially California & New York — they can discount for zero state income taxes.

  18. Thomas is coming off a broken leg. He has missed parts of other seasons for injury. Who is going to pay him north of $13 million per year? No Thanks

  19. Highest paid safety? He can’t be serious. That ship has sailed and he should adjust his expectations accordingly.

  20. It sure would be great for the Cowboys to have him. I think they’d both really enjoy the time more than he would with any other team – anywhere else, he’d just be another random hired hand in a place with no sense of mutual loyalty.

    Thomas should look at the Cowboys and know that they’d very likely hold onto him longer than any other team. Anywhere else, he’s a one-year rental.

    But the Cowboys don’t really need him – it would be nice but their D is in good shape.

    As other have said, they probably should have saved the Witten money for this.

  21. ET primed when the Legion was intact, he’s a couple years removed from “best safety/highest paid ” status. Pricing yourself out of a lot of decent opportunities! The NY Jets with their great salary cap situation might be interested.

  22. 13+ MIL for a guy coming off of a broken leg, the same broken leg in back to back yrs….asking for that much, nah he doesn’t have a LEG to stand on….

  23. Cowboys fans would welcome ET at a price that allows us to sign our home grown studs. We don’t have our “hearts set” and fully understand that him signing is a long shot. Arrow is pointing up, and missing out on a guy that wasn’t on our roster does nothing to change that.

  24. Earl is deluding himself if he thinks anyone will give him more than a short term $10 million average. He’s still a great player and easy Hall of Famer, but broken legs 2 of the last 3 years? Forget it. You should have had that rod inserted like the Seahawks wanted you to the first time you broke it. Plus your ego makes you a problem Earl.

    As to Harrison Smith in any way comparing to Thomas, please don’t make me laugh anymore.

  25. Thomas is coming off a broken leg..

    Same break, same leg, back-to-back years.

    He’ll never be what he was prior to 2017.

  26. The Safety market was way down last year and many good players took low-ball deals late in FA. Also – think KC is excited to be paying Berry as much as they are? Wouldn’t surprise me to see Dallas open up the wallet for their own guys and maybe 1-2 good FAs but it isn’t going to be ET3 at 13m.

  27. Didn’t he flip off his own team?


    For declining their medical advice.

    The Seahawks suggested Earl have a plate put in to repair his broken leg. He declined.

    Guess what he just had put in his leg……..

  28. I dont think he is worth more than 8 or 9 per year.. 30+ and coming of a serious injury never gets you the “highest paid” player nod at your position. I would rather save that money and keep looking at other players. There are safetys out there that are younger and will be cheaper that can play

  29. In his defense…asking for 13+ million a year isn’t crazy..It’s paying him that money is the crazy thought.

    As an Eagles fan I hope Dallas does sign him to 13 million a year. I just don’t think JJ or SJ are that naive. Dallas already has a good Defense and they can get better at Safety thru the draft or a cheaper option in FA. My guess is they pass and let the Niners or Raiders make that mistake.

  30. You’re worth what someone will pay you to do your job whether that’s accounting or playing football. If he can get $13 million a year from a team more power to him but if I was a GM no way I’m signing off on that especially considering the safety market crash last year.

  31. Earl, take a good, long look at that scar on your leg. Everyone you talk to will want to see it, too. That alone will knock a good $8 million off your champagne dreams and caviar wishes. So which is more important: as much money as possible or be a Cowboy? ”Both” is not the answer. Choose one.

  32. Injury prone, headcase, and getting old. The Seahawks were 0-2 with him this year and 10-4 without him. If he was that impactful of a player, he’d warrant 13mil. He’s not. The Seahawks made him the highest paid safety in the league when he signed his prior contract and it all went to his head. He was a great player, but you’d have to be crazy to pay him anything over 8 or 9 mil per.

  33. With his age and injury history, he’s not worth spending the 13 million plus to sign him and if another team does, it would be a waste of money because it’s a guarantee that he will get cut by his new team after 1 year.

  34. Injury prone, headcase, and getting old. The Seahawks were 0-2 with him this year and 10-4 without him. If he was that impactful of a player, he’d warrant 13mil.


    3 ints, 4 passes defended, 6 tackles per game… then injury..

    Whether he’ll ever play at the level again remains to be seen.

  35. ….9ers need you Earl! You’d get to play your old squad not once, but TWICE every year! Make it happen…

    Yeah, it really helped when the 49ers ‘stole’ Richard Sherman from the Seahawks. NOT!
    ET was the best safety during the ‘Hawks great 3 year run, but not anymore. Go ahead 49’ers and give him his 40 million over 3 years with 25m guaranteed.

  36. I believe ET is still very valuable. He needs to go to highest bidder as he clearly is getting close to his last contract. Perhaps he takes a huge signing bonus with a long term contract to keep the Cap Hit low, knowing he will never finish it out. With that in mind, he could end up in Dallas.

    Regardless, the Seahawks want to see him get top money so they get a top compensation draft pick next season.

  37. Harrison Smith might be a solid safety but he is not a walking Hall of Famer like Thomas. Earl should have had the rod put in the leg the first time but didnt and it came back to bite him. He was having a year as good as any of his before it broke.

    I think he is going to have lower his price tag coming off injury.

  38. It hard to justify paying anybody $13 mil a season, especially for an aging veteran who hasn’t finished a season in 2 years. I like Earl Thomas. He wants to play for the Cowboys, and the Cowboys need someone of his ability. But at #13 mil, that a huge problem. The Cowboys need to sign some of there own players, which is another story. I think Thomas would have to except less money if he truly wants to play for the Cowboys.

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