The writing seems to be on the wall for Earl Thomas and the Seattle Seahawks. The safety is unhappy with the team, and will likely bolt in free agency, making a trade a likely scenario to end his tenure in Seattle.
Thomas is still at the height of his prime, pulling down three interceptions in three games and would be a huge upgrade for the Eagles secondary. Here are five reasons why Philadelphia should make the move for the All-Pro.
Fills a Need
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they recently lost safety Rodney McLeod for the season due to a torn MCL. Philly does still have Corey Graham as the backup safety to replace him but the team does like to use three safeties in games.
It’s not like Graham is a bad player, but he’s not a starting free safety in the NFL, while Thomas is still one of the best safeties in the game. The addition of Thomas along with Malcolm Jenkins would allow the Eagles to form one of the most feared safety tandems in the NFL.
Just like the Seahawks did for years with the Legion of Boom, the Eagles are in their championship window right now. Not to say that Philadelphia can’t make deep runs in the future, but as long as Carson Wentz is on his rookie deal, the Eagles will have cap space to work with before they have to pay him like an MVP type quarterback.
Each year that Wentz is on his rookie deal, the Eagles will have that extra cap space and owe it to themselves to go for it every year. Trading for Thomas is an instant upgrade at safety that maximizes their window for this year and possibly beyond.
Upgrades the Secondary
The Eagles got torched by Mariota and company on Sunday to the tune of 344 yards, which included Corey Graham being unable to cover his man on a 4th and 15 in overtime that would’ve won Philadelphia the game.
Philadelphia is the best run-stopping team in the league, but have been susceptible to being burned through the air. If the Eagles want to seriously contend in the NFC against the Rams, Saints, Falcons, Vikings and others, they’ll have to defend those teams dangerous passing attacks much better than they’ve shown to start the year. Adding Thomas would go a long way in shoring up the Eagles passing defence.
The Eagles have an extra second round pick this year and could dangle one of them in exchange for Thomas. The Seahawks are not dealing in a position of strength and Howie Roseman might not have to give up too much to get the deal done.
If Earl Thomas loves Philadelphia and fits in well with the group, he could look to resign. The Eagles could then move on from McLeod who’s probably a little overpaid at just over $8 million a year.
If Thomas looks to sign somewhere else, Philly could still use McLeod next year as their starting free safety while only give up draft picks for Thomas. Even though draft picks are a valuable commodity in today’s NFL, the Eagles have to be proactive with their championship window before they have to give Wentz the massive contract he deserves.
Mandatory Photo Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson