The Ravens surprisingly cut safety Earl Thomas during training camp. Not surprisingly, he filed a grievance, given that he had a $10 million guaranteed salary in 2020.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Ravens currently are carrying $5 million in 2020 cap space for Thomas, as a result of the grievance. By rule, the team carries half of the salary while the grievance is pending.
If the team wins, the $5 million will be credited to the team’s cap. If the player wins, another $5 million will be charged — and the Ravens will owe Thomas $10 million.
No one has shown any significant interest in Thomas. The Texans were poised to bring him in for a visit, but it didn’t happen.
Ultimately, the question becomes whether the Ravens terminated Thomas for personal conduct detrimental to the interests of the team. Although his contract was “guaranteed,” the Ravens will argue that the guarantees only applied to a termination in the event of injury, skill, or salary cap.
To win, Thomas likely will have to prove that the claim of detrimental conduct was a pretext for a termination based on injury, skill, or cap.
Regardless, the Ravens’ cap will show the name “Earl Thomas” until the grievance ends, and possibly beyond.