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.