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Is Signing Earl Thomas Worth the Risk for the Packers?

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Is Signing Earl Thomas Worth the Risk for the Packers?

Among the list of free agents that are said to be a good fit for the Packers, is former Seattle Seahawk all-pro safety Earl Thomas.  Thomas would certainly be an instant upgrade for the Packers at one of their weakest positions because of his diverse skill set and his ability to shut down the opponent's receivers and tight ends while making game-changing plays on the ball.  The only risk that comes with signing Earl Thomas is whether or not he will be able to stay healthy for a full season.  

Two of Thomas's last three seasons have ended with the same injury, a broken tibia.  The lasting image of Thomas is of him being carted off of the field and flipping the bird at the Seahawks bench.  Thomas obviously does not want to be remembered for his frustration culminating in a weak moment, but rather, for all of the hard hits and game-changing turnovers that he has created en route to many Seahawk victories.  

With this in mind, the question remains of whether or not it would be wise for the Packers to sign Earl Thomas to a long term contract given his age, injury history, and the reckless abandonment in which he has played the safety position over the course of his career.  The next question would be, if the Packers did in fact sign Earl Thomas, would they really be getting equal value for the money and commitment that it would take to bring him to Green Bay?

The Accolades:

Earl Thomas is certainly a special case because the numbers that he has achieved throughout his illustrious career speak for themselves.  He has been selected to 6 pro bowls, 3 all pro teams, and is regarded as one of the best to play the safety position in the last ten years.  He has 28 interceptions, 67 passes defensed, 11 forced fumbles, and has left countless receivers asking themselves what happened as he unloaded on them as they came over the middle of the field.  

The Commitment:  

With a track record like Thomas's and fierce competition to obtain his services, it isn't hard to imagine his price tag reaching $8,9 or even $10 million dollars despite coming off of his broken tibia.  So to put a more concrete figure on a potential Earl Thomas contract, the Packers must ask themselves whether he is worth a 3 year $30 million commitment.  

I see Thomas as the ultimate risk and reward player, as he is a signing that could help define Gutekunst's tenure in Green Bay.  Signing or passing on Thomas will cause a strong reaction one way or another three years from now and I don't think that there is any way of preparing for those ramifications.  It could be a Jimmy Graham-like reaction or a Julius Peppers-like reaction, the only way to find out how this will play out is to put your chips on the table and go all in on Earl Thomas.  Personally, I think that under the right circumstances Thomas is worth the risk.  

Sound Off:

As always, I want to know what your thoughts are on whether or not the Packers should move their chips to the middle and take a gamble on Earl Thomas.  Should the Packers pursue Thomas? Should they pursue Landon Collins, or should they move in a completely different direction?

I look forward to hearing the conversation!  


David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (123) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Jonathan Spader's picture

I'd love to see a player like Earl Thomas in Green and Gold. The guy is ultra competitive. He does get injured but it's effort injuries resulting in broken bones. He would really booster what's been a liability for GB.

TheVOR's picture

Gee lets pay top dollar for another Randall Cobb making 322+K per catch? We need another oft injured football player on this roster like a hole in the flipping head. What? Nick Perry, Kevin King, Randall Cobb, Brandon Jackson, on and on and freekin on haven't tight us anything? PASS!!!!!! Keep drafting college players with "A HEALTHY COLLEGE FOOTBALL CAREER" that can contribute, unlike Ted Thompson who drafted injuries after injuries trying to mine diamonds. Enough of this already. Love the way that the picture they showed of him was being carted off the field? WHY WOULD WE WANT THAT???? Gee lets pay him Millions to play 6-12 games a year? WT*************! Sorry, I digress...

Jonathan Spader's picture

You do digress what was the point to this tirade? I'll take often injured Jj Watt. Rodgers has had 2 broken collarbones, hamstring injuries, etc Cut Him! Earl Thomas is the best safety the NFL has seen this decade.

Broken bones can be recovered from easier than ACLs, ankles, etc. I like that injuries haven't slowed Thomas down. I like his competitive spirit reminescient of Mike Daniels. He's the best safety on the market and I would love for GB to sign him.

Rak47's picture

I agree once again JS. Thomas could be a game changer for the Packers. The Packers don't need him for 10 years, they just need him to keep being Earl Thomas for 2-3 years while they groom another FS, and AR's window is still open. I could see a 3 year deal with a team option for a fourth year. Front load it and essentially make it two years with an out after the second. Thomas is on my dream list of FA's along with Anthony Barr, and Preston Smith. Those 3 guys imho could really crank the defense up to another level while freeing up Gute to really work some magic in the draft. He can then get another edge, or TE, interior linemen, RB and whatever else he needs with their picks. One can dream I guess, lol.

The TKstinator's picture

@Rak: that’s why this time of year is fun!

Old School's picture

Earl Thomas is the best safety this decade.

It's the next couple of years I'm talking about. He's not young. He's been injured. You're looking at tying up a large amount of cash on this guy. Of the next 48 regular season games, how many do you think he has to suit up for in order to justify the expenditure? 24? 36?

I think the percentage play is elsewhere. Somebody younger. And also draft a replacement.


TGR has said he watched the film on Collins....I have not. But I do know the guy stays healthy and makes a lot of tackles. He is widely considered the best player on their defense.

He's cleared out his locker. The team is threatening to franchise tag him. He's threatening to sit out if that happens.

He doesn't fix out safety situation, but he's certainly better than any of the 5 safeties we have on our 53 man roster. And we are spending virtually nothing on the secondary. Every single person we have at corner or safety is making rookie contract or vet minimum, except Tramon.

I just think in a passing league, you've got to have some guys in the secondary who can compete with the top WRs, and that's going to cost some money.

The TKstinator's picture

@The Vor: Does a healthy past reliably predict a healthy future? I think there’s some flawed science here.

Old School's picture

VOR's rant about Cobb as an example of overpaying for an injured guy just doesn't stand up to close scrutiny. Like Rodgers, he missed a big chunk of 2013. He also missed half of this year.

But the rest of the time he suits up and produces.

You can research this yourself. Over the last 5 years, he's caught 14 fewer passes than Davante Adams!! He's played in 5 fewer games. So I guess that means we're overpaying Adams, too?

He's suited up for 69 out of 80 games and he's produced. He's stuck a dagger into the heart of the Bears more than once. He doesn't deserve to have Packer fans trashing him.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Agreed Old School he has played through a ton of injuries including broken ribs. Being injured doesn't make you weak. It's part of playing in a violent game. Cobb has had a streak of injuries which has been disappointing especially due to his cap hit. How do you think Cobb feels about it?

TheVOR's picture

I will take a healthy demonstrated past over a demonstrated "Unhealthy" past every time. Dudes been in the league a long time, this game destroys human bodies, and bodies don't heal the same at 31 as they do at 21, it's just true!

Finally, there are players with NFL bodies, and their are player who simply don't have one, guys that are constantly dinged, banged, missing blocks of games.

Again, no thanks, and there is no flawed thinking or flawed science in knowing that history repeats itself, especially in the aging body.

The only way I ever personally see a team signing guys like this, is when they want the ring, and come very cheaply. Because when they don't, like with Randall Cobb, you're paying a guy $322,368.42 dollars per catch, and you're team is tanking.

An Aging Broken Thomas isn't going to matter to this franchise, way bigger fish to fry. Not that I don't think it's a position we could upgrade, just that I'm not willing to manage the risk and cap hit at this juncture.

That's all.

TheVOR's picture

One more thing, on face value, he's made 86% of his starts in his career. Some would say, for that player, I'll take that.

But then when you look at the aging body, that has made only 60% of his starts in the last 3 seasons, you're seeing the wear and tear taking affect. Its the way of most NFL football players.

Look, the dude is a baller for sure, guy can play, I don't hate his game, I hate his body trend. I'm sure not overpaying for the decline in health we've seen over the last 3 years. Dude was gold balls for his first 6 seasons. Thats the painting, and that's the risk, and cap management is EVERYTHING when you're paying Rodgers. It's why guys like Matthews and Cobb, maybe Perry and Bulaga need to be gutted off the roster at some point soon, and replaced with quality younger football players.

Keep drafting..

Old School's picture

I love the way cherry pick on the Cobb getting 322,368.42 per reception. I mean, he's been active for 69 out of the past 80, but you'll focus on the 2018 season where he missed half the year. Why not calculate how many passes he caught since he signed his deal?

You get a very different per reception number.

I agree on Thomas, but you're off target on Cobb.

ricky's picture

This sounds exactly like the arguments against bringing in Charles Woodson. Minus the big price tag. Injury prone, scrap heap, washed up, has been. Turned out to be a great move. Signing Thomas has the same reward potential. Its the risk- the big money upfront that would be needed- that is the major concern. Is he worth the risk? If the contract is designed correctly, yes. If not, still a maybe.

NitschkeFan's picture

If he is healthy then yes, go for it. Add $8 million for Breeland and our defensive backfield is set for the next couple of years. Alexander/ King / Breeland / Thomas / Jones being the core.

That leaves another ~~$12 million for free agents depth pieces at other positions.

Free's up our top draft picks to focus on OLB and OL.

Go Pack GO!

Kevin Ven's picture

I agree with going after ET, but 8 mil for breeland is too much. He wouldn’t be our top 2 cbs right off and that, IMO, is too much for a (at best) Nickle or dime cb

Old School's picture

So we're going to pay Breeland starter money despite having King, Alexander, and Jackson on the roster?

And why is Jones part of the core when he's been unable to beat out Brice?

jannes bjornson's picture

Jones best chance to stick is WLB. IF Thomas is healthy can he finish a season for that much cash? Better to move on Joyner and draft a guy in the high rounds( Adderley or Abram). Thomas may run all year or he may drop out after the first quarter of the first game. Management will be a bit more risk averse after the Cobb/Perry/ Graham deals went south.

Bert's picture

I see Thomas as probably worth the risk for no more than three years. If he can hold up physically then he should provide a very high level veteran presence in the backend of the defense. I'm guessing NY will franchise and try to keep Collins as will most teams try to keep their younger high-value players. Thomas may be our best shot at actually upgrading our secondary in a big way.

Turophile's picture

To sign, or not to sign, I can see both sides of this one. Is this a risk, yes, can he really make a difference to our safety group, again yes.

You may get a guy who does no more than Wilkerson did last year, tease and then out for the year. However, the Packers must get safety help and more than one addition is needed. Landon Collins (Giants) or Adrian Amos (Bears) might be better pickups, being younger, but who knows if the Packers can leverage either of them. Thomas is a short-term fix, but he's a good one (and as an aside, I'd re-sign DL Wilkerson this year, as well).

This is close to being one of those risks the Packers must take, they have to get help there, and unless they are intending to double-dip safeties early in the draft, they need a starter-level vet. An early double dip at safety is too neglectful of other positions of need, imo, and risky, as there are few legitimate rangy free safeties, this year.

With their early picks, the Packers will be in desperate need of a pass rusher, and they really need an OT as an eventual successor to Bulaga after 2019, and possibly also used as a starting RG this year. They'll want a TE this year as well, which might use up a pick as early as a second or third rounder. I don't see a TE being likely, at #30.

This leaves guys like Juan Thornhill or Chauncey Gardner-Johnson as FS possibilities at #44, or maybe Mike Bell in the 4th (approx pick #113, after the comp 3rds). I don't see them getting Nasir Adderley at #30, but maybe the Packers think differently.

A good FA safety, plus a decent draft pick solidifies the position nicely, but two other scenarios are possible. The first is that Josh Jones makes a big jump and locks down one starting safety spot. The other is that Josh Jackson is moved to safety to take advantage of what he does best, read the QB, anticipate, and fly to the ball.

Either of these come true and the Packers only need one extra guy there, instead of two. I'd still go for a vet for the experience, even if it is a short-term loan (and an expensive one), but the urgency is less. Finally, if Jackson moves to safety then there is one less CB (and how you feel about that, depends on the faith you have in CB2 and CB3, Bashaud Breeland and Tony Brown).

Swisch's picture

Interesting and much-appreciated analysis presented in such a comprehensive way, Turophile.
I hope you're not Joshin' about the possible potential of two of our young defensive backs; but I guess we may need a free agent, anyway, as a matter of safety.

Old School's picture

He's an old football player, and as much as I know we really need help at safety, he wouldn't be my first, second, or even third choice.

Mathieu is three years younger. Joyner is two years younger. I'd sooner go for those. And they played a full season last year, as opposed to only playing four games like Thomas.

Brice, Campbell, and Pleasant are all gonna be vet minimum guys. If we move Tramon back to corner, we are spending 0$ over the minimum on the safety spot.

Of the top tiered guys, I think Thomas is the worst choice of the three. And we're going to have to draft a safety early, too.

Swisch's picture

What about Landon Collins?
Is it that you want a free safety and Collins is a strong safety?

Old School's picture

Landon Collins would be at the top of the list, but I had some incorrect info about his availability. Yeah, I'm all for Landon Collins. IF we can get him at $10 million/year, THEN we'd still have enough to attract a lower tier ...SS, like Tre Boston...and we'd draft one, too.

I had Collins listed a free safety. But if we could get Collins AND Boston for about $15 million/year? Oh yeah. Mark me down for yes,

Rak47's picture

Lol, not happening. Collins may cost almost 15 mil by himself. Hoping to get him and Boston for that is a pipe dream. And I find it interesting so many people want Landon Collins when he's a strong safety and the Packers need a single high cover FS. Boston is a FS btw, not a SS. But who cares huh? Just sign the guy he was a first round pick from Bama for Pete's sake!

Old School's picture

Landon Collins may cost almost 15 mil. Or he may cost closer to 10 mil. I don't know, and neither do you. puts his estimated value, based on comparing him to similar players, at $9.5 million/year.

Tre Boston is on his third team in three years, playing on a one-year deal for about $1.5 I certainly think a contract for about $5 million a year puts us in the ball park.

And for the record, neither of those were first round picks from Alabama, for Pete's sake!

Rak47's picture

Collins was picked 33rd so technically he's not a first rounder but easily could have and should have been. And he did come from Bama so the entire football world recognizes the distinguished gentleman from Alabama by name.

carlos's picture

I like Tyrann Matthieu myself. Nothing against Thomas. Just saying. Tyrann is a smart safety who makes big plays. Only 27. Not the biggest guy, but a sure tackler.

KeepErMovin's picture

It was a poorly kept secrete last year that the Honey Badger did not want to play anywhere north of the Mason Dixon line. I don't think he wold want to come to Green Bay.

carlos's picture

Didn’t hear that. You never know though. At least look into it. I don’t want someone who doesn’t want to be here. I just like his style of play.

Dzehren's picture

Thomas could be Jimmy Graham 2.0 . Age and 2 broken legs in 3 years worries me.

gbslapshot's picture

Yeah sooo. In 1988 and 1989 I broke my ankle each year skateboarding. I have been skateboarding since and haven't broken a bone since. Just saying...

dobber's picture

OK, but what's your skateboard 40 time?

gbslapshot's picture

Never timed that dobbs. I can say that at 210 #s I ran a 4.9 in high school. I also ran a 4.9 at 33 years old at 240 #s playing semipro football. I tend to disagree with people that think that 30 year old NFL players that work out constantly "lose a step" just because of age.

dobber's picture

I pick this guy first! :)

KeepErMovin's picture

He could be Woodson 2.0. Woodson was coming off a broken leg in 2005 and he was turning 30 the next year. Remember what Woodson did for our defense?

Swisch's picture

It seems we got Woodson on a discount -- which turned out to be a bargain for us, and eventually worked out (I hope) quite well for him.
The cost for Thomas seems so high that I'd rather sign a lower-profile guy who may be ready to break out to a new level.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Woodson's contract:

The agreement is a seven-year deal that can be worth as much as $52 million,'s Michael Smith reports. Woodson will make $10.5 million in the first year of the deal and $18 million over the first three years. Woodson will also receive a $3 million bonus if he is selected to the Pro Bowl in two of the first three years of the contract.

Old School's picture

You mean Thomas could play all 16 games and turn in one of the best seasons by any Packer player at that position in 25 years?

Cause that's what Jimmy Graham 2.0 would look like.

Jonathan Spader's picture

I'm excited to see what Graham can do in an MLF offense. I loved the effortless TD pass and catch in the 2018 preseason and was hoping to see that become a staple.

cheesehead1's picture

We need to get younger, no more aging vets. While he is a great player, he’s also now more injury prone. Such a big offseason for Gutekunst. Draft wisely and hope he does better in free agency than last year. I believe he’s up to the task of getting GB back on track.

KeepErMovin's picture

Thomas is not any more injury prone. Broken bones, when healed, are no more or less likely to break again.

We picked up Woodson coming off a broken leg and turning 30 in 2006. Thomas could transform this defense like Woodson did.

stockholder's picture

Getting started in the right direction must be the priority. Robinson came to Green Bay. Why not Thomas? If Pettine wants him, sign him.

The TKstinator's picture

Good point about Pettine.

bachperformance's picture

I wouldn’t hate it, but I’d prefer Honey Badger. Regardless, I’d rather we make a move in FA than continue settling for the play (or lackthereof) we’ve seen lately.

Rak47's picture

Something tells me Honey Badger is not what all the fans seem to think he is. Why would 2 teams release him in the prime of his career at ages 25 and 26 if he were all that? That doesn't make sense when you need quality starters. Obviously the Cardinals and Texans feel they can get more value at the position from elsewhere for what he's being paid.

Swisch's picture

I'd rather go with our current roster at safety of Ibraheim Campbell, Raven Greene, Tony Brown, Josh Jones, and Kentrell Brice -- plus a draft pick such as Nasir Adderley.
I must say I'm reluctant to sign anyone from that seemingly loud and obnoxious defense of the Seattle Seahawks from the last few seasons.
In any case, I like our youth movement in Green Bay. I do think it may be good to sign select free agents, but it has to be just the right guy at just the right price.
Otherwise, let's give the young guys a go.

KeepErMovin's picture

Ibraheim Campbell, Raven Greene, and Kentrell Brice are JAGs or worse.

Josh Jones is an in the box safety/overhang defender/OLB. Not a deep cover guy.

Tony Brown is a UDFA CB. I like the potential as a developmental guy not someone who is being counted on to start.

I would sign Thomas AND draft Adderley, Thomas, or CGJ.

Swisch's picture

Thanks for your thoughts, KeepErMovin.
Your evaluations do seem to call for getting a free agent safety, even at some risk.
At this point I'm not sure what to do, but enjoy the back-and-forth with other fans.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Campbell and Brice are free agents (well, Brice is a restricted free agent, but I don't think we will tender him, and thus he will become an UFA). I don't want Brice back really at any price. Campbell I'd like back; I am not sure of my price point for Campbell, but it is fairly low. Maybe something under $2M?

jeremyjjbrown's picture

Glover Quinn could be a good stop gap. He was great until Patrica arrived. He has a chip on his shoulder too.

MarkinMadison's picture

Thomas will turn 30 this spring. I don't see why a broken bone would matter, but I just can't shake the feeling that you shouldn't put a ton of money on a guy at a more speed dependent position like FS when he is 30.

KeepErMovin's picture

Woodson was coming off of a broken leg and turning 30 when GB signed him in 2006. Seemed to work out.

Bert's picture

Hate to be a spoil sport but the good young players (Honey Badger, Collins, Clowney, T. Crawford etc) will be either franchised or resigned by their current teams. We may have to take a chance on a guy like Thomas or just go home empty handed. Just the way it works.

Turophile's picture

Yep. Fans can get too enthused with top prospects, ones that never make it to FA. Happens all the time.

splitpea1's picture

Let's minimize the gambles. Thomas WAS a great player and may still be, but I'd be more comfortable with a younger player like Collins or Matthieu.

Graham Crackah's picture

Is Thomas looked at as a leader? If so, I’m all in. I believe he is but not 100% sure as Seattle had several stars back in the Legion days. I always looked at Thomas as the best and leader of that crew. I think if Thomas can come and step in as a Chuck Woodson type, then it’s worth the risk. I don’t believe any of the other safeties mentioned have that leadership quality our defense sorely needs.

4thand1's picture

Sign him. Trouble is Jerry Jones will probably way over pay for him and he wants to be in Dallas.

KeepErMovin's picture

Dallas has a lot of FAs to sign in the next couple years (including Dak and Zeke). They may not go on a FA spending spree.

txike's picture

Thomas would be the Reggie White signing for this generation.

4thand1's picture

I think that's a bit of a stretch. Reggie was the biggest deal ever for the Packers.

FITZCORE1252's picture

There was that deal Ron made with Atlanta for that QB... Reggie was huge though, no denying that.

KeepErMovin's picture

More like Woodson.

Bure9620's picture

The Packers had zero interest in Mathieu last time he was available, I don't see that changing. Collins is getting tagged and Thomas is not worth what he will be paid. Tre Boston would be a bargain. The safety market was severely depressed last year.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

No to Landon Collins. Strong safeties aren't worth the money. I watched tape of two of his games and while Collins played well overall, he can't play free safety. Not worth $10M to $13M he surely will get. It is easier to find a box safety than a Free Safety.

Thomas is really the only FA I see that can play the single high safety position at a high level. I wouldn't want to go more than 3 years, $11M AAV. I'd like a pay as you go structure. That means $6M to at most $7.5M signing bonus (still a bit of a hit on a one-year out but easier than Graham's). That would put his cap hit in the $4M range, but I'd like to see it be at least $7.0M year one.

Of course, if the deal has a team-friendly structure, it does not have a player-friendly structure, making it harder to sign Thomas.

I don't have much interest in honey badger. He is a solid but not great player, and he can't play FS. He probably comes in north of $8M AAV. Make that zero interest.

Joyner costs too much and regressed in 2018. Boston isn't that far off in terms of production and should be at least $4M AAV cheaper.

Swisch's picture

Are there any current safeties on the Packers who you see as being potentially good at free safety, or even stars?
If so, how do they compare to Tre Boston?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Not really. Campbell and Greene were so fleeting that I didn't really get a long look at them. I didn't see them play single high safety for us - Tramon pretty much played that and he didn't miss any snaps. Campbell has been in the league for quite a while, so some motivated person might go back and look to see whether he has ever been asked to play single high, and if so, how he looked.

I've watched a couple of condensed games of Arizona. I've advocated for Boston since last March, but if he comes to GB, I am open to pot shots for his tackling. He makes HHCD look ferocious (okay, some hyperbole, but it isn't pretty). Boston played near the LOS quite a bit for ARI, but when they played a single high, he was the guy who played it. Coverage looks pretty good taking on slot and flankers.

I watched a couple of condensed ChI and MN games. Chicago relied on getting pressure from just the front 4 or 5, so there not that many single high safety looks in those games. Ditto for Anthony Harris (he is a restricted free agent and will be irrelevant if MN puts on the 2nd round tender). MN looked perfectly comfortable using Smith and Harris interchangeably. The single high could be either of them. It is a little hard to judge Amos and Harris because both teams got lots of pressure pretty quickly. I don't have All-22 either.

Swisch's picture

Thanks, Thegreatreynoldo.
Apparently no obviously great options on the team already, or in free agency.
Seems like we may want to take a chance on a free agent at the right price if Pettine thinks he has a good possibility of shining in his defense.
At the same time, we may or may not have some promising guys already on the team, although Pettine may have some insights about all the new guys who played in the defensive backfield last season.
Earl Thomas seems so expensive to go along with his risk of injury. The Packers would have to be really encouraged by his physical rehab and his mindset in coming to Green Bay before making such a huge commitment of dollars.
My inclination is to go mostly with the guys we got if we don't find just the right free agent at the right price; to pick up a safety in the draft; and to look for a mid-salary safety in free agency who is under the radar of other teams but may have a surprising upside for us.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I didn't mean to disparage Campbell, btw. I definitely would see what it takes to get him back in GB. I didn't look at his tape, just remember noting pretty good play in a game or two in real time, so to speak.

Wilment's picture

As much as I would like to have Thomas, those two broken legs in three years are no accident. if he was five years younger, he could be as big a signing as Reggie White was for the Pack, or Khalil Mack for the Bears. I just think he is a bit past his prime, injury prone, and as someone else mentioned, "Jerruh" is going to over pay him. If he could be had for twenty mill over three? Maybe, but he is going to get thirty or more from Dallas. Id look more to grab a vet like Glover Quinn, and a draftpick, or maybe Adrian Amos, a young guy that is established but young enough to fit in the youth movement.

CAG123's picture

Yeah they were definitely accidents especially the first one which was caused by Kam Chancellor y’all act like these were non contact ACL injuries or something

sam1's picture

It seems we have more than enough injuries every year and Thomas seems to be very prone to the serious side lining type! I would pass on him and go younger even if means less experience!

CAG123's picture

How has that worked out for the Packers recently? The Packers need a player like Thomas back there his effort, leadership, and football IQ is what this young secondary needs. He’s hardly hurt from bad conditioning and his first broken leg was friendly fire.

sam1's picture

How has that worked out recently, i hope you mean injuries and not experience. When I say younger I am referring to younger vets who have had less injuries! And why the heck does it matter how he got injuries he was still injured! Sometimes I really wonder some peoples thought processes!

CAG123's picture

Oh well let’s give Rodgers the boot then right he’s been pretty banged up these past few years! See how stupid that sounds! It was a broken leg not an ACL tear he had 3 picks and 5 passes defended in 4 weeks yeah I’ll definitely take a flyer on the best FS of the past 8 years that was STILL playing at a high level. You’re definitely the one that needs to rethink their logic

sam1's picture

Logic you have none! Rodgers is already a diva and so is Thomas! Rodgers to get rid of while still able to get a good return isn't such a far fetched idea! He will be no better this year than last! His better days are behind him and I bet you see his production fall even further! People put way too much faith in Rodgers at this stage of his career! I know this view is unpopular and thumbs down will come, but let us see how the season plays out and yes Rodgers injuries are concerning and before they get worse and more plentiful, yup move on soon from him, just like they did with Favre! And it may sound stupid too you, but you are getting into the minority here on that thought as more years pass!

CAG123's picture

Neither player has done anything diva like I swear these players do anything other than say “yes sir” or “no sir” they’re divas these are humans not robots. Also you totally contradict yourself first you say “Rodgers won’t be any better than last year” and then go with “Let the season play out” which is it? You don’t even understand your own supposed logic. And Farves situation was totally different he retired then unretired after that Packers had spent most of the offseason preparing Rodgers you’re comparing apples to oreos.

Jonathan Spader's picture

The logic here CAG is that if Dallas signs Thomas or if he gets injured in 2019 Packer fans can say see told you! If he has another healthy probowl year then they can rant and rage that Gute didn't try hard enough to sign Thomas. Just like they did with Mack in 2018.

It's just like the author said the risk is financial. The reward is a generational talent. I personally do not think Rodger's window has closed. Giving our defense a game changing safety increases our chances of a SB appearance for me that's worth the risk. The deal would be structured the way Rak suggested above.

sam1's picture

What the heck you make no sense. Let the season play out to see how Rodgers does and that doesn't make sense? No need to talk to you any further, box of rocks! Does it matter circumstances with Favre, wow you really don't grasp reality much at all!

CAG123's picture

You’re confusing your own self you clearly said “Rodgers won’t be any better” in the same statement you said “let the season play out” that’s a clear contradiction you simpleton.

sam1's picture

Now I know I am talking to a no brain idiot! Never said those two things in the same statement, learn how to read! Go to bed your mommy is calling!

CAG123's picture

Go read your 2 like 4 dislike comment dummy lol

LeotisHarris's picture

A lot of people are saying Troy Polamalu can still run, but the question remains; could stay healthy for an entire year and not give the finger to the bench? Even with the Packers youth movement, the new regime would most likely be anti-finger, especially in conservative Green Bay.

Personally, I think if David would quit consistently inserting the word that into sentences where it isn't needed, his attempts to be provocative would at least be tolerable.

JonR005's picture

I'd love Earl Thomas. Being able to play a true cover 1 high safety is a rarity, yet the ability to do so is unbelievably valuable. Look how much success Baltimore had with Ed Reed near the end of his career. Mike Pettine is from the same mold as those old Ravens defenses and would get the most out of a future HOFer.

Unfortunately, I highly doubt that we'll get Landon Collins (will get tagged most likely), Tyrian Matthieu (not the type of guy I see opting to live in Green Bay 7 months a year), or Earl Thomas (From Texas, went to UT, and grew up a Cowboys fan - he wants to go home).

For those reasons, I wouldn't mind Gute being super aggressive and offering him the most $ for Thomas. The window is closing and bold moves need to be made.

JQ's picture

I’d pass on Earl, even though he’s been the heart and soul of that seattle defense for years. Kam Chancellor and Mouth Sherman got the press, but ET was the glue that held together the now defunct ‘legion of boom.’

Thomas would surely bring strong leadership to the young Packer secondary, but he’s broken the SAME bone twice in his leg, and structurally it simply cannot be as strong as it once was. And as has been posted, he’ll soon be 30 years old.

He’ll simply command too high a price to pay for leadership, and I’d be shocked if Gute is willing to roll the dice on him.

KeepErMovin's picture

Actually broken bones, once healed, are no more or less likely to break.

Woodson was coming off of a broken leg and turning 30 and that seemed to work out for the Packers.

jannes bjornson's picture

Thomas may prefer to boom with Sherman in San Fran.

Skip greenBayless's picture

"I like thinking big. If you're going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big." - Donald Trump

I love this quote and in my professional opinion it applies to this situation. We've spent and wasted money on losers like Martellius Bennett, Cleditus Hunt, Joe Johnson etc. We need a safety damnit and the best and biggest star out there is Earl Thomas. If we are going to get a safety we might as well think big. Get it done!! If it blows up so be it. If it works Gutey will look like a genius. Go for it.


The TKstinator's picture

Did you just say in your “professional opinion”???

Skip greenBayless's picture

Yes, is that a problem?


Bure9620's picture

Think big, then go Bankrupt

The TKstinator's picture

Thompson Trumps?

croatpackfan's picture

In short: Yes! I'm for signing Earl Thomas on 3 year deal!

But, you need two sides to be able to close the deal!

Nick Perry's picture

Sign Thomas?

Sure that would allow Pettine more freedom with his defense since he'd have one of the best Safeties in the last 20 or 30 years on his defense. BUT the biggest problem which some have already mentioned is he WANTS to play in Dallas, is from Texas and a Cowboys fan. Oh, and Jerry Jones actually has some cap space this season. Do we really want to get in a bidding war with Jones with a shade over $30 million in cap space and more holes than dollars to fix them?

But another HUGE reason I would imagine is Kris Richard is the Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator & Defensive Backs Coach. Richard coached Thomas for years in Seattle and was a big part of developing the LOB in Seattle.

Skip greenBayless's picture

No, you don't get into a bidding war I agree. You at least show your fans that you "tried" to sign him by offering him a very generous offer. If Dallas wins out so be it. The Packers I believe will be competitive with Thomas. I believe he can have as big an impact at safety as Mack would have been at OLB. It's worth a shot to try to sign him at minimum. It's one of our biggest weakness positions on the team. If we are shooting for a solid wall on defense you don't want a big hole in the middle at safety. Earl Thomas will shut down the bad hombres that try to get thru this area. He will be worth very single penny (if healthy).


Donster's picture

Rather see the Pack spend the money available to acquire a edge rusher or two. Pressure on the QB is paramount. We haven't had if for years. TT didn't address it. A consistent pressure on opposing QB's will take so much pressure off the secondary that we shouldn't have to spend the big money on a safety. For to long our corners and safeties have been hung out to dry, trying to cover receivers for way to long each play.

Breaking the same leg twice is a huge red flag. Thomas wants to be in Dallas, and I bet he would take a lesser offer to be there. Amos or Quinn would be a safer bet to try and sign. I'm afraid that signing Thomas for $10 million a year will turn out to be the same mistake that signing Graham was.

packerbackerjim's picture

Thomas seems to have settled in the Dallas community, having registered his children in a private school there, according to a story last week. Next option up.

stockholder's picture

Pressure on the QB is paramount. We haven't had if for years. TT didn't address it! ///////// Boy did you say a mouth full here !!!! //////////////////// We had Perry and CM3. But what did the packers not have. A DE!!! Datone Jones was a bust and moved to elephant. Raji busted out there. Wilkerson was suppose to be the answer. Lowrey ? Never showed it. This is whats wrong with the packers front!!! Somebody Finally hit it.!!!! This must be filled @12. This is why the packers must take Wilkins. Even Oliver. The Rams have Arnold. We need this position filled First @12. You will never get a better chance to fix this position and the pass rush.

Packer Dave's picture

Offer him a deal.

Dumping Clay and Perry more than offsets this. It's not even that risky in my opinion. Tramon on is going on what 37? Many good years left for Thomas, bones heal.

KeepErMovin's picture

Clay is a FA and would not need to be cut. Cutting Perry only frees up $3.5M and sticks GB with a big dead cap hit next year. Perry is sticking around for one more year.

PeteK's picture

I thought full cap hit goes to the year a player is cut.

KeepErMovin's picture

Depends if they designate him a post June 1 cut or not.

If cut before June 1, the dead cap# for 2019 is $11.1M with a $3.3M cap savings.

If cut after June 1, the dead cap# is spread out over 2019 and 2020 ($3.7M and $7.4M respectfully) with a 2019 cap savings of $10.7M.

So in order to save money for 2019 they would just be pushing the "penalty" off a year.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Perfect, KeepErMoving, but pushing the dead money down the line doesn't matter all that much. The biggest issue (but not the only one) is do you want more cap space in 2019 or in 2020?

My answer to that is it depends on who I can sign in 2019 versus who I can sign (or have to re-sign) in 2020.

If by some miracle I can sign Dee Ford or think Earl Thomas is still a generational talent, I might be inclined to free up the cap space necessary by using a June designation on Perry or Graham because proven pass rushers are one of the hardest things to find. Sure, the other option is to scale back on my wishlist at other positions in free agency so I can afford Dee Ford.

Can the Packers win in 2019 or are there just too many holes?

tincada's picture

Way too many holes and a virtually new coaching staff that doesn't know if it can meld together.

Jonathan Spader's picture

With Aaron Rodgers at QB there is always a chance.

PeteK's picture

I want Thomas he's a difference maker ,but his age and recent injury history worry me. I would give him 30 mill for 3 yrs but only 7 guaranteed because I don't want to be stuck with another bad contract. If Dallas pays more than good riddance. I wish the draft came before free agency.

KeepErMovin's picture

Woodson was coming off of a broken leg and turning 30 when GB signed him in '06. That seemed to work out for GB.

Packer Fan's picture

I remember when Eugene Robinson was signed and how he stabilized the defense. I remember the last year for Leroy Butler and how the defense tanked after he got hurt. Thomas could be a guy that makes the whole defense better. So, is he worth the risk? Could he survive another three years. I bet Pettine is asking to sign him. We won't know until March. These decisions make or break the general manager and coach

mrtundra's picture

Not that I want an ex queen in Green and Gold, but I read an article that says Minnesota may get rid of Xavier Rhodes, Safety, for draft picks. The Cousins's contract really hurt them so some of their veteran players may be released or traded for draft picks. Other queens that may have seen the end of their careers in Minnesota are Anthony Barr, cheap shot artist, and Emerson Griffen, pass rusher. Just saying these guys may be available but I'm not anxious to sign any of them. Purple taint, you know.

jannes bjornson's picture

Rhodes is their shutdown corner. He does not play safety. Barr looks to want big Cash, but he's a guy that may show up since he played 3-4OLB @ UCLA.

LambeauPlain's picture

If KC does not tag Ford, the Pack may be his favored destination as Dallas will be for ET. It has been reported Ford is very close to and has great respect for Packer OLB coach Smith.

The Chiefs are moving to a 4-3 so they may not want to tag him and eat up half of their available cap space.

If he hits the market, use the cap space from saying goodbye CMIII and Perry and use it to attract Ford to reunite with his OLB coach Smith.

If they do tag Dee, I’d prefer the Pack go all in for 25 year old Landon Collins. He’d be the best safety in GB since the last Collins, St. Nick.

I know he has been a SS the last few years, but he played FS for the Giants too. And Pettine likes guys who can play well in different spots. Giving the 25 year old a 4 or 5 year deal makes so much more sense than a 30 year old.

Interestingly, Collins production is following the track of Thomas.

Zebra 3's picture

I say take him! Thomas is a big time play maker.
The Pack has not had a Safety with his talents in a LONG time.

dobber's picture

I think that signing a guy like Thomas--a really good player getting toward the back end of his career who you don't want to be on the hook for more than 3 or maybe even 2 years--is a roster finishing move. If you really believe he's one of your last pieces, you take this plunge.

This puts the Packers in an interesting place with regard to how they view their roster and where they are in the grand scheme--especially since Thomas is going to likely be a day 1 or day 2 FA signing. If they make this kind of move, it sends a message that they think they're ready to contend or will be based on additional moves in FA. If this is a team focusing on the draft and 2021 (maybe lightning in a bottle in 2019 or 2020), they don't sign Thomas.

KeepErMovin's picture

Thomas could be Woodson 2.0.

Woodson was coming off a broken leg and turning 30 when the Packers signed him in 2006. That move transformed the defense. I believe Thomas could do the same.

Long bone breaks do not sap athleticism (unless it an Alex Smith kind of break) and broken bones, once healed, are no more or less likely to break. So don't come with that injury prone crap.

blacke00's picture

No, No and NO!
As others have said use the money on an edge rusher or veteran OL man ( a good one...LOL), DL or inside linebacker.
Consider other available FS/SS.
Too much baggage and injury risk.

KeepErMovin's picture

What baggage does Thomas come with?

Also, once a broken bone is healed it is no more or less likely to break again. So that "injury risk" is garbage.

Thomas could transform the defense like Woodson (coming off a broken leg and turning 30) did in 2006.

Duke Divine's picture


Swisch's picture

After reading a good many comments, I'm not all that excited about any of the free agent safeties.
Regarding Thomas, before spending all that money, I'd like to know more about what kind of a guy he is.
Maybe he's a great guy to have on our team, but I'd like to hear a lot of good things about him to convince me.
If he's going to bring to the Packers the attitude of a Legion of Booming Blowhards, then pass.
I'm reluctant to sign any free agent to huge money unless he's got at least a little of Reggie White going for him in terms of leadership and character and camaraderie.
Otherwise, I like the guys we got in the defensive backfield, plus a draft a pick or two.
The Packers Way of draft and develop has for the most part been great for us. Let's not panic because of a couple down years.
I'd like to get a free agent or two, but only if he is truly the right guy at the right price.
The Packers are a great place to play. I don't want to be arrogant with regard to free agents, but let's not come off as desperate, either.

CAG123's picture

Thomas was never as vocal as Sherman and Kam were but he was the unquestioned leader of that secondary and if he brings a little of that intensity to the Packers defense that would be a good thing especially considering that “soft” is a term that’s been attached to the Packers def for a few years now. I don’t know what’s to “like” about any of the current safeties the Packers have right now to just be okay with them and a couple of draft picks. The Packers have been trying to build this secondary up via the draft for some time now and it just hasn’t been working out it’s more than a couple of down years this is a team that’s been shutout 3 times the past 2 seasons twice at home, this is a team that’s 3-12 against winning teams the past 2 seasons, and this is a team that’s even struggled to beat mediocre teams the past two seasons. We can’t continuously put that much store in youth and draft picks that’s why we’re in this mess now.

Swisch's picture

I appreciate the response, CAG123.
It seems as though most of the guys currently in the Packers defensive backfield are so new as to be not associated with any softness or failures in our past.
As I wrote, I'm glad for a free agent if he's the right guy at the right price -- and not just a desperate move to make people feel better for a little while.
If you're all in for Thomas, please say why. If you're big on someone else, please say why. (Please excuse me if you already have made such a comment and I missed it, or read the comment but didn't associate it with your name.)
I don't know if anyone of us knows all that much about our current d-backs, but I'd be glad to hear pros and cons for any of them.
My impression is that Pettine's defense was generally scrappy and over-achieving last season, and that at least some of our d-backs flashed signs of promise for the future. I thought even Brice showed some good tackling.
Overall, just trying to put everything in perspective. If we're not thrilled about any of the safeties out there in free agency regarding talent and temperament, then why not draft and develop?
I'm not sensing that fans here at Cheesehead TV -- or even the staff writers -- are all that thrilled about anyone. At least I haven't been convinced enough to get thrilled.

Dzehren's picture

2 realistic free agent safety’s would be Adrian Amos and Tre Boston. Both are young at 25 years old
& would be affordable. Target 1 of these guys then draft and development a safety in middle rounds.

rstain99's picture

love the player love the attitude, certainly would be an upgrade. Brings the steadiness back there thats been missing since SB years. 8-10 million may work but you need to find out how healthy and if he even wants to come to GB. He might be the link they need but pressure on QB would help that as well. Love the chatter we all sit behind our computers trying to be the next Ron Wolf, BB in NE. Being a team first will be most important Thomas could be that glue.

tincada's picture

Why not, we've seen the skill set of GB mgmt produces so so results. Get over it folks, yet another rebuild year and they still do not have a BU QB.

John Brill's picture

II think Dallas will sign him quickly cuz all the rumors u hear is that is where he wants to play

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