Earl Thomas has been released for “personal conduct that has adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens.”
ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports that Thomas’ contract included a $10 million guaranteed salary this year that Baltimore will now likely try to void.
Earl Thomas' contract included a $10M fully guaranteed salary for 2020. The Ravens, are responsible for that (i.e., not the next team that signs him). Baltimore could try to void the guarantee based on conduct detrimental, but Thomas likely would file a grievance.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) August 23, 2020
The Baltimore Ravens are parting ways with Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Whether Thomas is traded or released remains to be seen, but Schefter adds that the Dallas Cowboys look like the early favorite to acquire Thomas.
Dallas is square in play on Earl Thomas, with one source going as far as to say the Cowboys “would be leading contender.” https://t.co/5cYVKoSutq— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 23, 2020
This comes after Thomas got into an altercation with backup safety Chuck Clark during a Friday practice. The Ravens’ player leadership apparently wanted Thomas gone after the incident, which makes you think this wasn’t the first incident Thomas had with his teammates since arriving in Baltimore last year.
The former Seattle Seahawks All-Pro signed a four-year, $55 million deal with Baltimore in the 2019 offseason. According to Over the Cap, Baltimore is on the hook for a $15 million dead cap hit charge this year if Thomas is released. It’s unclear how much money the team could save if Thomas’ contract is voided due to conduct detrimental to the team.
This is a big shakeup in the AFC North, as Thomas was easily one of the best defenders in the division. And it looks like there’s a decent chance he’ll end up somewhere out of the division, so that could make life easier on the Bengals offense and the rest of the division looking to narrow the gap between themselves and the reigning division champs, who led the NFL with a 14-2 record last year.