Should the Carolina Panthers consider making a move for Earl Thomas after the safety was sent home from training camp with the Baltimore Ravens?
There is a situation developing in Baltimore with Earl Thomas. The Ravens sent their star safety home from training camp on Friday following an altercation with teammate Chuck Clark according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. And he was not seen at the team facility on Saturday morning.
The Ravens are reportedly “considering their options” regarding Thomas, who remains one of the NFL’s best safeties. This is a situation that teams across the league will be monitoring closely. And if the player is made available, then it is something that the Carolina Panthers should consider.
They have plenty of questions to answer regarding their secondary in 2020. The Panthers have a prolific starter in Tre Boston. But it is hard to deny that Thomas does not represent a significant upgrade on the options currently available.
Whether the Ravens are just allowing Thomas to cool off at home is up for debate. But given the fact he was not at practice on Saturday, it has sent the NFL rumor mill buzzing with possible outcomes to his current predicament in Baltimore.
The organization is primed for another Super Bowl run after coming up short in the playoffs last season. They look strong across the board yet again next time around. But this is an unwelcome distraction, at the very least.
Earl Thomas is a risk worth taking for the Carolina Panthers.
Carolina may want to strike while the iron is hot in this situation. The front office has been bold with its decision-making so far this offseason. And getting someone in with Thomas’s glowing resume would give instant creditability to their defense in 2020.
Thomas was a key component in the Ravens’ success last season. He was an assured presence on the backend on his way to 49 combined tackles, 32 solo tackles, two tackles for loss, six quarterback hits, two interceptions, two sacks, and six pass deflections.
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Although he might now be entering the twilight of his career. There will be no shortage of suitors if this training camp fight eventually results in Baltimore moving on from the Super Bowl winner.
His play in 2019 earned a 76.7 grade from Pro Football Focus. And three-time All-Pros are not available too often either via trade or the free-agent market.
Putting Thomas alongside Boston in Carolina is a mouth-watering prospect. And it would then allow star rookie Jeremy Chinn to be utilized all over the field by defensive coordinator Phil Snow.
This is probably just a storm in a teacup. Once cooler heads prevail in the coming days, things will probably go back to normal. But the situation is perhaps more serious than your average camp scuffle if Thomas is being kept away for a lengthy period.
If the Panthers were to make a move for Thomas, there is the financial aspect to consider. The seven-time Pro Bowler is owed $43 million in base salary over the next three years of his deal. And whether the organization wants to allocate this sort of financial commitment to the former No. 14 overall pick is another big question mark.
It is something to keep an eye on, of that there is little doubt. And it is hard to deny that the Panthers would be far better off with someone like Thomas in their secondary next season.