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Seattle Seahawks
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Seahawks hold first OTA; Earl Thomas absent

Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas has a cloudy future with the team, although he has said he would like to remain in Seattle. (Winslow Townson / Associated Press)
Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas has a cloudy future with the team, although he has said he would like to remain in Seattle. (Winslow Townson / Associated Press)

The Seahawks’ veterans are taking the next step in offseason workouts in this spring’s walk-up to summer training camp.

Earl Thomas is not in step with them.

Seattle began the first of three weeks of organized team activities (OTAs) Monday at team headquarters.

As expected, the three-time All-Pro safety wasn’t at the start of OTAs. He hasn’t been at any team workout since last season ended on New Year’s Eve.

Why? Because these practices and meetings are still voluntary, per the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Coaches, of course, have a different view of “voluntary” this time of year – call it “strongly encouraged.” But the letter of the NFL contract law remains the same.

“Veterans sometimes look at those rules and they see ‘voluntary,’ and they see it differently than other guys,” coach Pete Carroll said when I asked him about Thomas two weeks ago, at the end of the team’s minicamp for rookies.

“So, we’ll see.”

The team can begin fining Thomas if he misses any of their June 12-14 minicamp, or training camp.

Thomas isn’t in the mode of giving away money. He’s the opposite. He’s seeking a new, third contract and wants to be the highest-paid safety in the NFL beyond his deal that ends after the 2018 season. That means at or above the $13 million per year and $40 million guaranteed, what Kansas City gave his 2010 draft classmate Eric Berry last year. He also has stated he wants to remain with the Seahawks, at his price, that is.

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