On Wednesday I took a look at why Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas not showing up for offseason workouts was not a big deal. I had planned to follow up today with an article about why it makes sense for Thomas to skip workouts, and then commenter betaparticle went and stole the first half of that article with the following simple, yet spot on, comment.
Chandler Jones just signed a longer term contract for $16.5m a year, with up to $53m guaranteed
of which $48m is already guaranteed, so there is little risk to a preseason injury.
On the other hand, Earl Thomas and Aaron Donald are in last years of contracts, and a voluntary workout injury would deal terrible blows to future earning potential – both players are expected to get new contracts after the draft.
With that portion of the article having been written for me, I wanted to take a look at a different subject regarding Earl, and that is the trade rumors surrounding him.
For huge portions of the offseason the rumors surrounding Thomas potentially being traded have been swirling on social media and in reports from insiders. However, at the end of the day, when digging through the reports in order to get to the root of the rumors, it seems most of the rumors are being fueled by two major sources. The first of those is Jason La Canfora.
Seahawks in discussions with several teams regarding Earl Thomas. Seeking a 1st and 3rd round pick in return. May get more— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 15, 2018
Now, I’m always one to look for a fun conspiracy, so the interesting thing about La Canfora is his past work history. In particular, for ten years starting in the late 1990s La Canfora worked for the Washington Post, including six years as the beat reporter assigned to cover the Washington Redskins for the Post. That would be an important part of any crazy conspiracy for one simple reason - that puts La Canfora working for the Washington Post during the 2001 season when Seahawks general manager John Schneider was the Director of Player Personnel for Washington.
Now, that’s hardly proof of anything, but it’s certainly an interesting coincidence that one of the primary sources for the Thomas trade rumors just happens to be a reporter who worked for the major news outlet in the only city in the I-95 power corridor of the northeast where John Schneider happens to have worked in his career.
While La Canfora seemed to be the primary source of the ET3 trade rumors initially, in recent weeks they have picked up steam from a second source, and that is Mike Fisher in Dallas. Fisher is an insider for 105.3 The Fan who covers the Dallas Cowboys.
To repeat, I believe #Cowboys & #Seahawks will again discuss an Earl Thomas trade. I believe DAL should offer pick No. 50. And I believe using Dez-freed cap room to give Thomas a contract extension will help DAL overcome PR botching of Bryant goodbye. pic.twitter.com/hRsmEf19N6— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) April 14, 2018
I’ve reported #Cowboys will re-engage w trade offer on Earl Thomas. I think 50. I’m not a % guy. https://t.co/ZeoPq1jneg— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) April 22, 2018
Is there anything interesting about both Fisher and La Canfora being the potential source of ET3 trade rumors? Absolutely.
Obviously, it’s nothing definitive, but I certainly find it very interesting that La Canfora and Fisher both work for CBS Sports. So, maybe La Canfora and Fisher know each other and help one another with information and rumors. To me, anyway, it is certainly worth noting that the two primary sources repeatedly reporting that a trade is possible both happen to work for CBS Sports. Meanwhile, other sources, such as Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter of the NFL Network both continue to report they expect Thomas to be a Seahawk in 2018.
So, what does it all mean? Who knows. The only thing I can say with any certainty is that there will likely be a lot of Earl Thomas trade talk through this week, at least until Day 2 of the draft is in the rear view mirror at the end of Friday. If Thomas is still a Seahawk on Saturday morning, I’d expect the trade rumors to somewhat die, at least until July when rumors of a holdout or new trade rumors begin.