I’m normally on the side of players when it comes to negotiations for contracts because the NFL business really screws players over (Just fucking pay Roquan,┬áBears, you fucks) but something about Earl Thomas’s fight with the Hawks seems very whiny and petty. It seems like ET just sorta gave up on Seattle and is throwing a fit so he can go somewhere else. Somewhere else heavily implied to be Dallas most of the time. Granted, that may be how the team PR is spinning it to make him look bad, but this feels more petty than someone like Aaron Donald or Le’Veon.

Donald and Le’Veon seem like they still want to play for their respective teams, they just want to be paid for it. It feels like it is about getting max value while they are worth it. Earl seems like he just wants out, like he hates Seattle now. He’s hinted at retirement threats a few times and now seems like he’s trying to force Seattle’s hand but he doesn’t actually hold any real leverage. Seattle is going through an overhaul and ET is a prime suspect to let go when it makes sense financially. Why restructure his contract when they probably want to let him walk next year regardless? If Thomas holds out all that does is cost him fines and stock for the future. The Hawks don’t have to do anything.

But there’s another thing I don’t think is getting mentioned. It seems like there might be something slightly rotten in Seattle. Basically the entire legion of boom has held out at some point, plus Michael Bennett too. Kam was unhappy with his contract a lot. Browner immediately left for greener pastures. Sherman made a fuss and then has since not been terribly kind to the Hawks in interviews. Earl Thomas, who seemed like the team glue, is clearly very unhappy. Bennett threw multiple contract fusses, though Bennett also seems like a douche. It feels like Seattle has had a suspicious amount of holdouts during their era. Is the player friendly atmosphere making them greedy or is the front office secretly kind of terrible? Seattle got so much love for the drafting that made them a brief superteam but they haven’t done nearly as well since and nobody really mentions that. I think Seattle got lucky just as much as they drafted well. The only one who hasn’t thrown a fuss is Russ, but Russ is a robot man incapable of doing anything that doesn’t toe the brand line.

Maybe I’m just being paranoid but something about Seattle seems…off. I blame Pete Carroll. Probably teaching everyone jet fuel can’t melt steel beams. He probably thinks the earth is flat too.

Also lmao at Kawhi Leonard being a whiny baby all season and then getting shipped to Toronto. Another player who didn’t seem to realize his lack of leverage. The Spurs seems very interested in making him happy but he just wanted to play with LeBron in LA and then discovered that wasn’t going to work out the way he wanted. He’ll probably go there next offseason but in the meantime we get to watch apathy Leonard as a Raptor. Good stuff.

EDIT: of course the day this goes live ET had a piece “explaining” it on the Players Tribune. I really do sympathize with how badly players get used by teams but it still feels petty to me. I also do not trust anything on the Player’s tribune (especially stuff like this) because it is very much not the player’s words here, it is a carefully translated PR version of the players words. Every article on The Players Tribune feels like it was written with the exact same voice by the exact same person. It’s calculated PR the same way team press conferences are. I suggest treating it with the same level of skepticism.