Just a few years ago if you were asked who the best safety in the NFL was, it’s likely that Earl Thomas was in the conversation. The coverage-specialist, playmaking superstar was a game-changer on the field.

Teams had to plan around him, and quarterbacks had to constantly be aware of where he was on the field.

Fast-forward a few years, and Earl Thomas is out of the league entirely. At age 31, Thomas still has plenty left in the tank. Maybe his explosiveness, and quickness aren’t where they once were, but his football IQ and defensive instincts remain intact.

It’s a little bizarre that he hasn’t found a home.

Unfortunately for Thomas, off field issues have derailed his path to the hall of fame and have kept him out of the league for the entire 2020 NFL season.

It would be even more surprising if Thomas didn’t find a home by 2021.

A former Seahawk teammate once said that Earl Thomas was ‘a lot like Kobe’ in his approach to the sport. The Kobe being mentioned here is former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. Prepared, dedicated to winning, and the ultimate competitor.

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Earl Thomas approached every game like it was his last, and his ‘Mamba Mentality’ showed through his exceptional performance on the field.

With a full year gone by without any word from Earl Thomas, his off-field issues seem like they can be swept under the rug. If Kareem Hunt, Adrian Peterson, and Tyreek Hill are back in the league, Thomas can surely make his return as well.

The seven-time pro bowler and three-time all-pro safety is going to be giving quarterbacks trouble in 2021, we just don’t know with who yet.