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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: ‘I feel bad’ for Earl Thomas

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 24, 2020

Pete Carroll, left, talks with free safety Earl Thomas during a Sept. 23, 2018, game in Seattle.  (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)
Pete Carroll, left, talks with free safety Earl Thomas during a Sept. 23, 2018, game in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

RENTON – The Baltimore Ravens’ stunning release of former Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas on Sunday continues to reverberate around the NFL.

On Monday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was asked if he had thoughts about what happened with Thomas in Baltimore – reports stated Baltimore players asked the team to release Thomas and that he had been consistently late to meetings.

“It’s been a tough time for Earl,” said Carroll of Thomas, who signed with Baltimore as a free agent in March 2019 after playing nine seasons with Seattle. “That’s a hard situation. I feel bad for him. I wish he could have avoided that from happening whatever that was.

” … That’s a bad state to get in when they send you home.”

In an answer to a later question about Thomas, Carroll recalled that Thomas typically was a quiet presence in Seattle’s locker room (Thomas was never elected a defensive team captain, for instance, with Kam Chancellor and/or Bobby Wagner filling that role every year from 2014 on).

“He was really quiet,” Carroll said. “Very much to himself and rarely, rarely spoke out, and I didn’t call on him that much because I knew he was uncomfortable with speaking out so.”

The Seahawks did not offer Thomas a contract following the 2018 season, a year in which he held out throughout training camp. He had taken some extreme steps to make clear his displeasure with his contractual situation in Seattle, including the infamous “come get me” incident in Dallas in 2017.

Carroll on Monday said he didn’t put too much weight into that gesture.

Carroll said Thomas thought it “a harmless gesture” but that Carroll told him that because media was there, “it wasn’t harmless in that it was brought out.”

“I didn’t care,” Carroll said of the incident. ” … I know where he’s coming from, and it didn’t bother me a bit. I didn’t think it was the right thing to do and I told him that.”

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