RENTON, Wash. – Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas officially commenced his holdout as the team began its three-day mandatory minicamp Tuesday.
Thomas released a statement on Twitter on Sunday announcing his intention to skip the minicamp and all team-related activities until his contract situation is resolved.
“Kind of had heard that he was making that choice,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. “I wish he was here. That would be nice. But we’re focusing on the guys that are here and we’ll see how that goes.”
Thomas is entering the final year of a four-year extension signed prior to the 2014 season.
He is scheduled to make $8.5 million in base salary in 2018.
“I want to remain a Seahawk for the rest of my career but I also believe that based on my production over the last 8 years that I’ve earned the right to have this taken care of as soon as possible,” Thomas wrote. “I want to have certainty in regards to the upcoming years of my career.”
The Seahawks can fine Thomas $84,435 if he misses all three days of the minicamp. Fines are ultimately at the team’s discretion.
Defensive end Chris Clemons was the last Seahawks player to skip the mandatory minicamp in 2012, but he signed a new contract prior to training camp and was in attendance there. Running back Marshawn Lynch in 2014 and safety Kam Chancellor in 2015 did hold out from training camp. Chancellor missed the first two weeks of the regular season.
Carroll said each situation is different when it comes to holdouts.
“It’s an individual case with whoever the guy is, whatever his story is,” Carroll said. “I don’t see putting them in a basket. I think you look at each guy and whatever is going on, the history and all that, and you deal with it accordingly.”
Thomas, defensive end Frank Clark and cornerback Byron Maxwell had all stayed away from the team during voluntary workouts. Clark and Maxwell were both in attendance Tuesday, though Clark was limited because of a sore hamstring.
If Thomas’ holdout extends into training camp, he can be fined $40,000 a day for each day he misses. Additional penalties are incurred if he misses more than six days of camp. Carroll said he is uncertain how the situation will play out, but that he still views Thomas as a part of their program.
“Heck yeah, he’s under contract. Sure,” Carroll said. “… He gives you everything he’s got when he’s with you.”
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