Well it certainly looks as if Earl Thomas' days are numbered. I was told Wednesday that the attitude among players on the team towards Earl was souring. He had been habitually skipping walk-throughs, stormed out of multiple meetings, and largely did not participate in the team's offseason program. For a team full of guys that are hungry after disappointment last season, that type of behavior isn't going to sit well.
Sure enough, things reached a boiling point at practice on Friday with the altercation with fellow safety Chuck Clark. It's his 2nd spat with a teammate, with the other coming last season when he and Brandon Williams got into it after that frustrating September Browns loss. Yes, the one where Earl gave up on chasing Nick Chubb around midfield on a long touchdown.
These are things that just aren't going to garner respect and adoration from your teammates. When he was signed to a 4-year $55M deal before last season, it was expected that he was going to bring veteran leadership in addition to all-pro safety play. His play reached that standard after a rocky start, but he's been nothing but a headache otherwise. I haven't even mentioned that whole weird brother gunpoint orgy thing from back in May, which he kept the organization in the dark about for weeks before TMZ blew up his spot. So you've got a locker room that has soured on him, a front office that's likely soured on him, and now I am, in fact, officially #sour on him.
Unfortunately that contract still exists. I'm no salary cap maestro, but my understanding is that cutting him would end in a $15M cap hit, with another $10M carrying over to 2021. That's a tough pill to swallow for a team with a young core of players that are looking to get paid, not to mention that they would need to find themselves another safety. With 3 weeks left before Week 1, the Ravens are between a rock and a hard place here. Everything indicates that this is an irreparable situation and that he's gotta go. I expect the Ravens to cut the cord before long (if they can't find themselves a trade partner) and I believe that they should. With or without Earl, this is too good a team to sacrifice the culture of the locker room by tolerating egos. That's the bottom line and I think John Harbaugh and Eric DeCosta will see it that way too.