Pete Carroll says the Seahawks want to keep K.J. Wright, Frank Clark, D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy.
The team’s coach says he met Sunday with Russell Wilson. He says they talked about the franchise quarterback’s contract ending after 2019. He says extending Wilson to remain Seattle’s quarterback for the foreseeable future is “very much in our plans.”
Earl Thomas? He’s very much not in the Seahawks’ plans.
Carroll was asked during his season-ending press conference Monday at team headquarters individually about the expiring contracts of veteran, core players. The veteran coach’s first words about Thomas conspicuously were not the same “yes, we want him back” and “we’d love to have them back,” as they were for Wright, Clark, Fluker and Sweezy.
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“Uh....,” Carroll responded, “we will see what happens.”
Then Carroll added, as if not wanting to make any waves about it: “I don’t know. Yeah, I’d love... Earl’s a great player. I don’t know what that means for contact and all that stuff but it’s one of the issues. We’ve got a bunch of them.’’
You are on the right track if you are reading that to mean Thomas’ has played his last game for Seattle.
The three-time All-Pro safety broke his leg for the second time in three seasons in a game at Arizona in October. His last act with the team was flipping off Seattle’s sideline while on the back of a cart getting driven out of the stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and onto injured reserve.
Any realistic hope of the Seahawks signing Thomas for 2019, or using a franchise tag to keep him for another year, ended with that ugly scene.
He was angered that he never got traded as he wanted to Dallas, nor did he get the rich contract extension he wanted before his current deal expired with the end of the 2018 season. That came on Saturday night when the Seahawks lost to the Cowboys in the wild-card playoffs.
Essentially retired safety Kam Chancellor is, like Thomas, technically still on the roster. He is on the Seahawks’ sideline at games. Thomas has not been with the team since his injury. His been more in his native Texas. He was nowhere to be seen at the Seahawks’ playoff game at his home state. Chancellor was there, with the team in Dallas, including at its hotel.
This is what Carroll said Monday about wanting Chancellor to remain around the team in 2019, as a mentor and positive influence in the locker room and for young players learning Seattle’s defense: “Kam’s pretty quiet. Kind of a travels quietly and carries a big stick kind of guy, you know? I loved having him around.
“Every time he was with us on the road late in the season, I just loved him being with us, because he is a steadying force. He’s one of those guys who helps other people perform better and feel more confident and feel better about themselves. He has a way of doing that, so he was very helpful, and I hope that we can keep him close to the program. He’s got great input.”
Asked Monday if he’s talked to Thomas, Carroll only said: “Not recently.”