The Seattle Seahawks will have to pick up the pieces on defense without their All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas while Thomas tries to pick up the pieces on obtaining another big payday without a perfect bill of health entering 2019 free agency. The Seahawks will do so by starting Tedric Thompson on Sunday versus the Los Angeles Rams and likely for the rest of the reason. On Sunday, it was unveiled what Thomas' next move would be.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the veteran defender is expected to have surgery to repair his twice-broken left tibia. Thomas suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of the team's 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals in week four. The procedure will include inserting a rod and will lower the chance of reinjury while increasing the chance of healing. Per the report, surgery only furthers the notion that Thomas will be healthy well before he's set to become a free agent in 2019. Earlier reports even had him ready for the Super Bowl if the Seahawks were to make it that far, which is much less likely than in season's past.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Seahawks have already settled their early free agent business with Thomas and will elect not to use their franchise tag on the perennial Pro Bowler; instead, he'll become a free agent outright. The Seahawks could always change their minds and franchise tag him but Thomas' message on that front seems to already be loud and clear. Per Schefter, his middle finger while being carted off the field on Sunday was directed at the organization and no one individual. If they apply the franchise tag to him in 2019, they're essentially signing up for another year of Thomas on a one-year contract with angst towards the organization.