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NFL Open Thread: Goodbye Earl Edition

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With Respect to the Day Civility Died Again, Tanier has a short version:

Earl Thomas gives middle finger to Seahawks sideline after suffering likely season-ending injury.

Point: “What kind of role model is Thomas being to children?” asks a nation that must not ever turn on the nightly news or go outside anymore.

Counterpoint: Refusing to either trade or extend the contract of a future Hall of Famer while plunging the rest of the roster into extreme rebuilding mode is the real obscene gesture, folks.

This is the long version, which notes that these holdouts are a natural byproduct of the NFL’s various salary suppression techniques. In terms of what the Seahawks should have done, this seems like the obvious takeaway:

The Seahawks could have traded Thomas during the Legion of Boom purge, but they got finicky about the compensation. They insisted upon a second-round pick, per ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter’s reports, but not the Cowboys’ second-round pick, because they didn’t want to face Thomas in Week 3. (What does a rebuilding team care about one early-season game? Who knows?)

The Seahawks have plenty of cap space in 2019 and 2020 and could have signed Thomas to an extension if they really valued him as a mentor and link to Super Bowls past. They may have gotten him to buy in to his new camp counselor role with a little bit of money and some honest communication.

The obvious move, given that the team is not facing a cap crunch and Thomas is 1)the best player on during the time that feels a million years ago in which the Seahawks had one of the best defenses in NFL history and 2)can still play. Let him finish his career with the team. And if you really don’t want to do that, trade him for the best offer you can get, and really don’t worry about who you’re playing in a year when you’re not winning anything.

Incidentally, I’ll get back to the tanking issue eventually but one thing I really don’t get about extreme tankology is the implicit assumption that championships are the only things that matter, and hence any veterans remaining on a team that isn’t a contender need to be fire sold. I dunno, but if (God Forbid) I was a Canucks fan, I’d rather see the Sedins retire in a Canucks uniform than get the 57th pick in the next draft and a C prospect or whatever. And really, in the vast majority of cases it’s a false choice; the idea that the 2nd round pick Seattle could have gotten for Thomas would have been the difference that puts the team over the top for a Super Bowl are roughly the same as the odds that Brett Kavanaugh will be remembered the next David Souter.

Anyway, the devolution of the Seattle organization has been kind of remarkable. The Rams have transformed themselves into the best team in football by firing the parody of the old boy’s network coaching the team and hiring a brilliant young offensive mind and pairing him with the best defensive coordinator in the sport. Carroll and Schneider saw this, and hired…a Jeff Fisher alumnus who 1)last presided over an above-average offense in 2006 2)with a QB whose skill set is almost the precise opposite of Russell Wilson’s. Unsurprisingly, Schottenheimer’s gameplans look like he spent the offseason watching footage of the 2017 Eagles and Rams and decided to do the opposite. Heckuva job! I am OUTRAGED that Olympia did not rush back to pass a law legalizing sports wagering so I could place a large bet on the Rams -7 1/2 today.

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