Where Will Earl Thomas Land?
On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens released Pro-Bowl Safety Earl Thomas after an altercation with fellow Safety Chuck Clark and the entire team in a practice. The release brings a sour and abrupt ending to what was going to be a promising tenure in Baltimore for Thomas. Earl Thomas may be a character that isn’t wanted since he can be a distraction in a locker room setting, this isn’t only considering the Ravens incident, Thomas had an ugly and disastrous ending in Seattle that stimulated his interest in leaving in March of 2019. At the same time, Earl Thomas is a game-changing Free Safety that can make any defense better. Many teams are going to be interested in Thomas but here are seven teams that I believe make the most sense for him.
Here are teams that by signing Thomas can turn a “bad” defense into a good one.
The Dolphins have almost completely turned over their defense from the previous seasons. The Dolphins are one of the teams that can be surprisingly good this season but also might be a year away from competing in the AFC East. Signing Earl Thomas can immediately turn around their secondary with the addition of Byron Jones from earlier in the off-season also helping out and could make the defense one of the better ones in the NFL.
The Jaguars have dismantled and traded away their core from the AFC Championship run a few years ago. It’s very unlikely that Earl Thomas would even want to go to the Jaguars since they aren’t Super Bowl contenders and not many free agents desire going to Duval. The Jaguars have a young defense and a proven veteran like Earl Thomas can help not only with the development of some of the rising stars in Jacksonville but also help make the defense a solid group that is poised to be one of the worst in the NFL.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers were a mess last season. Everything that could have gone wrong did. The Chargers enter this season with star defenders in every key position but are lacking the depth and safety help that hurt them last season. Derwin James was injured for most of last season and his absence was clear in the Chargers secondary, if the Chargers found a way to add Earl Thomas, they would have two of the top safeties in the league on their defense. The defense would see a massive improvement and possibly catapult the team into the playoffs.
The Cardinals are an interesting team that many are giving a high ceiling this season. The offense looked good last season but the defense looked abysmal. The Cardinals have a few good defensive players but the overall defense is one that gets pushed over by the NFC West and the rest of the NFL. Adding Earl Thomas can make the Cardinals defense good enough to keep the team in more games. With Kyler Murray continuing to grow, the Cardinals are expected to compete for the division, adding Earl Thomas can only make the Cardinals more competitive.
Here are teams that by signing Thomas can turn a “good” defense into a great one.
The Eagles have been one of the best teams in the NFL in recent years. One of their problems in recent years has been injuries, ravaging both the offense and the defense. The defense has lost some stars in the off-season like Malcom Jenkins and Ronald Darby but have added Darius Slay and Javon Hargreave. The addition of Earl Thomas can solidify the secondary and return the defense to the dominance it displayed in 2017.
The Bears had a dominant defense in 2018. While the defense was good 2019, it wasn’t the same as the one that controlled games the season prior. The Bears have the players on the defense to make it great and many blame the offense for the decline of the Monster of the Midway. The secondary lost some key players this past off-season including Prince Amukumara and Haha Clinton-Dix, bringing in Earl Thomas would once again make the defense one of the best in the NFL as they would have game-changers in every position (Akiem Hicks and Kalil Mack on the front, Roquon Smith in the middle, and Kyle Fuller and Earl Thomas in the backend).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have been the story of the off-season, landing Tom Brady and bringing Rob Gronkowski out of retirement. The Buccaneers look to have one of the best offenses in the NFL, but what about the defense? The defense has a few players that have emerged as some of the best in their positions like Devin White and Vita Vea but they lack a captain in the secondary. Enter Earl Thomas, Thomas can turn a bad secondary into a decent one and with the front seven already being one of the better ones in the NFL, a solid secondary might be just what the Bucs need to make the defense great. A great defense will make the Buccaneers immediate Super Bowl front-runners and Earl Thomas can be just the player they need.