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Seahawks Earl Thomas still mulling over football future

Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas hasn’t made up his mind whether to continue his NFL career following a serious injury. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)
Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas hasn’t made up his mind whether to continue his NFL career following a serious injury. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas said he is “kind of caught in between’’ continuing to play or retiring during an interview Tuesday on “The Rich Eisen Show” on the NFL Network.

Thomas, who did the interview via phone, said when asked about a tweet he sent out after he suffered a season-ending broken leg that he was considering retiring that he has yet to make up his mind about his future.

“Yeah I’m kind of enjoying just waking up in the mornings without the pressure,’’ Thomas said. “Peace is starting to return to me, bro, and I think that’s my ultimate goal in my life – I just want to have peace.

“But I can say I went back to the VMAC (the team’s training facility in Renton, Washington) the other day, my competitive juices came right back. So I don’t know man. I’m kind of caught in between right now.’’

Asked whether his initial tweet were just emotions taking over, Thomas said: “I mean, of course emotions were taking over me. But I was still thinking like clearly in my eyes. And like I said, I still kind of feel the same way. There’s a lot of pressure when you play in this game and I play at a high level and my teammates expect me to do what I do. And it’s all about recommitting myself and I don’t now. I don’t ever want to step on a football field half-heartedly.’’

Thomas said he is enjoying waking up in the mornings and being able to spend time with his family, including 4-year-old daughter Kaleigh Rose.

“It’s hard to be well-rounded when you are always thinking about football and I definitely want to be better as a man, not just as a football player,’’ Thomas said. “So I started thinking about things like that. And it just has me thinking.’’

Thomas, 27, has played for the Seahawks since 2010. His contract runs through the 2018 and is due to pay him $10.4 million in base salary ($8.5 million) and signing bonus ($1.9 million) each of the next two seasons.

Thomas’ contract has a dead-cap value (salary cap space a team must allocate to a player who leaves via trade, release or retirement) of $3.8 million in 2017 and $1.9 million in 2018.

If he were to retire the Seahawks would undoubtedly place him on the reserve/retired list, as they did with Marshawn Lynch, which would mean the team would retain his rights through the life of his contract. The Seahawks would also by rule be allowed to recoup the signing bonus money for the two years remaining on his contract.

Thomas suffered a broken tibia in the win over Carolina on Dec. 4.

He was placed on injured reserve the following week and is out for the season.

Asked about his leg, Thomas said: “It’s good man. It’s getting better by the day. Just got it propped up in my office. So there’s nothing really I can really do on it. Just kind of let it heal. Got a cast on it.’’

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the week after Thomas’ injury that it would take “months’’ for him to recover.

“He’s got a serious recovery he’s going to have to go through,” Carroll said. “It’s going to take a while.”

At that same time, Carroll also seemed to downplay the seriousness of Thomas’ thoughts about retiring.

“I can’t help you on that,’’ Carroll said. “I know it’s really generated a lot of curiosity. He’s going through, at the time, the emotional part of dealing with an injury that’s a serious setback. I don’t know much more about it than that.”

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