The Ravens have reportedly agreed to terms with safety Earl Thomas.
Former Seahawks’ S Earl Thomas intends to sign a four-year, $55 million deal that includes $32 million fully guaranteed at signing with the Baltimore Ravens, league source tells ESPN. Deal includes $22 million in first nine months.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 13, 2019
RSR staff react to the news here…
— The Ravens made their first splash in free agency by the signing the highly coveted safety. The move should help ease some of the recent losses and makes up for the loss of Eric Weddle.
— Eric DeCosta also fired a salvo at AFC North rival Cleveland Browns, who were working on a three-year deal to sign Thomas before the Ravens swooped in.
— Thomas, 29, provides another dimension to an already talented secondary. He has made six Pro Bowl appearances (2011-2015, 2017), in addition to being named First-Team All-Pro from 2012 to 2014.
— Thomas started 125 games over nine seasons with the Seahawks, finishing with 684 total tackles, 67 passes defended, 11 forced fumbles and collected 28 interceptions.
DeCosta has a plan and he has all along. Thomas and Ingram are both major upgrades and fill big voids. A lot of fans are panicking after the last couple of days but everyone should take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.
Love the signing. If he’s even 85% of what he was before the injury, the Ravens have the best secondary in the league (again). A frontloaded contract is very smart, and lets the team get out from under him if they need to, in a year or two. He’s rangy, and a hitter, two things Eric Weddle was not. Immediate upgrade.
Ahhh, to so many Ravens fans – ye of little faith!
Thomas was expensive, but a clear upgrade over Weddle and the true centerfielder the Ravens have lacked since Ed Reed departed. He’s also an equal to Weddle as far as football smarts goes, so Martindale should be able to run the same D with Thomas now in control.
The Ravens do lose 2 of the 4 Comp picks with these signings, but still have a 3rd (from Za’Darius) and a 4th (from John Brown). Ingram (6th) cancels out Suggs (5th) for now, but if the Ravens lose another UFA (Urban?), that would cancel Ingram, freeing up Suggs’ 5th.
Good day so far and perhaps more to come (Zack Brown would be a nice replacement for CJ and will not cost a Comp pick).
WOW, I was expecting the Ingram signing, but I definitely wasn’t prepared for the announcement of Earl Thomas. I’m glad the Ravens got a couple of deals done, even if both players are past their prime by a tad. The Ravens’ hand was forced slightly when the Browns traded for Odell Beckham Jr. and they realized stockpiling talent was the way to go.
Thomas is going to make over $13 million a year on average. Thomas will pair with Tony Jefferson to try and keep the defensive unit as elite as it was last season.
My worries: Thomas is coming off of a season ending injury where he flipped off his teammates at the end of it, I hope he stays healthy and that his presence in Baltimore doesn’t sour on anyone.
Signing Earl Thomas is about a big of a splash as Eric DeCosta could make. The Ravens secondary is going to be scary for the next few years. This is the type of free safety that everyone has wanted in recent years. Now the Ravens have the best free safety in the last decade. It’s a passing league and the Ravens are countering with a stellar passing defense.
Earl Thomas is one of the few safeties that can essentially cover 1/3rd if the field by himself. This creates so much versatility for our secondary that Weddle never offered. There will be endless Ed Reed comparisons and for good reason. Reed covered up very average cornerback play, and Thomas will hopefully do the same. The “splash” move that everyone wanted is here, and it was a move that was a pipe dream for me, and I am excited to see him on the field.
Thomas should provide some of the back-end coverage the Ravens lacked in 2018. He is rarely used to rush the passer, which should help with durability concerns and create a natural division of duties between him and Jefferson. He will turn 30 in May, so Ravens fans need to be realistic regarding decline, but the signing appears very similar in terms of cost, term, and age to that of Eric Weddle. In fact, Weddle was a year older. If the Ravens can get 3 years of quality production, as they did from Eric, this will be another very good signing.
It will be interesting to see if Thomas or Jefferson will be the signal caller, but both seem qualified.
An important practical element is whether or not this signing will cost the Ravens one of their projected 3rd-round comp selections or simply cancel what was projected as a 4th for John Brown. I look forward to Brian’s comments on this (see above).
We just spent the entire morning on twitter talking about the Ravens’ inactivity and looking forward to the cap space they’ll have in 2020…then boom! DeCosta makes his first big move as Ravens GM. Still the premier safety in football, Thomas’ range and playmaking ability gives Wink Martindale a ton of flexibility as a play-caller. Another coup in the deal is it’s expected to be frontloaded which protects them as he ages as well as the hope for increasing financial flexibility.