Seahawks sign Earl Thomas to contract extension

Posted Apr 29, 2014

The plan all offseason for the Super Bowl champion Seahawks has been to reward their own players, and they did that in a big way Tuesday when it was announced that All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas has signed a contract extension.

Everyone knew this day was coming, but that doesn’t make it any less significant.

The Seahawks have signed All-Pro and Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas to a contract extension, the club announced during a news conference Tuesday.

Thomas, who turns 25 next Wednesday, was the 14th pick overall in the 2010 NFL Draft – the first under the direction of general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll. Thomas has started 64 consecutive regular-season games and all seven of the Seahawks’ playoff games during that span, including Super Bowl XLVIII in February. Thomas was voted to the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons and All-Pro in each of the past two seasons.

That’s why extending Thomas before his rookie contract expired at the end of the 2014 season has been a priority for player and management.

“It makes me feel humble, just to the fact of the circumstances I’ve had to overcome just to get to this point,” said the 5-foot-10, 202-pound Thomas, who has been hearing since he put on a helmet for the first time as a kid in Orange, Texas, that he’s too small to play the sport.

“It’s also just the commitment that the organization has made to me. I was part of the first draft of the Pete Carroll era. The owner (Paul Allen) did a great job of sticking to what he believes in and has taken care of the core players.”

And it’s also part of the grand plan put in place by Carroll and Schneider when they were hired to reverse the fortunes of the franchise in 2010. Thomas, as he said, has been here from the beginning. The 7-9 record that first season, which won the Seahawks the NFC West title. The more-competitive 7-9 record in 2011. The not only turned the corner but racing around it 11-5 record in 2012, a season that also included the Seahawks winning a road playoff game for the first time since 1983. And, of course, last season that featured the Seahawks going 13-3 to tie the best record in franchise history, winning the conference championship for the third time in club history and capturing the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl championship in emphatic fashion – 43-8 over a Denver Broncos team that entered the game as the highest-scoring offense in NFL history.

“This was one of our major offseason goals,” Schneider said. “Even when we were playing during the playoffs and we were making that run, it was all about trying to reward our own guys. Earl was one of the first guys we drafted, is playing at an extremely high level and we wanted to be able to reward him for all that he’s accomplished so far.”

And there’s no need to fret about Thomas becoming complacent now that he has a contract to make his on-field performance. Anyone who could even think that doesn’t know what drives Thomas.

“I’m just excited for the future,” Thomas said. “I always said bad stuff always lit my fire. But this is one good thing that really boosted me and added fuel to that fire. And I needed this, this is great.

“The only way this will change me is that I will work even harder than I ever worked before, trying to reach that unlimited potential I always talk about. It’s like faith. It’s something that you really can’t see. But I know my potential as a football player is not even close to where it needs to be. There’s no ceiling.”