It was quite obvious the Seattle Seahawks were going to need to spend a lot money in order to keep their Super Bowl winning defense intact, so it comes as no surprise that they went ahead and turned Earl Thomas into the highest paid safety in the history of the NFL, going by the average salary of his new deal.
Coming off his rookie deal, Thomas signed a four-year contract extension worth $40 million, including $27.75 million in guaranteed money. This means his $10 million average “beats” the six-year, $54 million contract Jairus Byrd got from the New Orleans Saints and the $9.867 million average that Troy Polamalu penned with the Pittsburgh Pirates, holding the record prior to Thomas signing this deal.
Thomas will make $4.625 million on the final year of his rookie contract before his new extension kicks in. The free safety has made the Pro Bowl for the past three seasons and was named a first team all-pro in 2012 and 2013. He tied his career high with 5 interceptions last season, and has 15 through the first four seasons of his career.
Thomas was the 14th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, and the 24-year old who played his college ball in Austin with the Texas Longhorns has started in all 16 games of each season since entering the league.
While the news of Thomas re-signing should be excellent news for the organization and the fans, it means a lesser piece of the pie left to share, as Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman are also expecting hefty contract extensions coming up, and one or both of them might end up being disappointed.