After almost two years of absence, veteran safety Earl Thomas is reportedly eyeing to make a comeback in the NFL, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Looking back, he has etched a potential Hall of Fame career after making a name for himself as a member of the Seattle Seahawks. His level of talent is undoubted after earning seven Pro Bowl honors and three first-team All-Pro inclusions along with a Super Bowl XLVIII title.
However, several issues have marred his career — the latest being his altercation with Chuck Clark in a practice with the Baltimore Ravens back in 2020. He was then released shortly after and never inked a new contract with an NFL team since then.
The Texas native is about to turn 33 in May and can extend his veteran presence to a team that is in need of depth in the safety position. He is currently an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign with any team that will be offering him a contract.
With that said, let’s take a look at the three best landing spots for Thomas if he makes a return to the league in the near future.
Earl Thomas NFL return spots for veteran
3. Philadelphia Eagles
Though still a rebuilding team, the Philadelphia Eagles can make use of Thomas in their roster. The free safety position remains to be a big need for them as only Anthony Harris and Jared Mayden are manning the unit at the moment. With his potential arrival, Thomas’ ability to play at a high level will surely elevate the team’s secondary defense.
The veteran won’t get as many wins if he opts to sign with the Eagles as compared to the other teams included in this list. However, the lack of depth in this squad would most likely give him his fair share of opportunities which will be helpful in his bid to get his career back on track moving forward.
2. Los Angeles Chargers
Another potential landing spot is a team that has been on an uptrend as of late in the Los Angeles Chargers. The organization has been active in the offseason after acquiring big-name free agents in Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson to bolster their defensive unit.
They can potentially add Earl Thomas to that list in order to solidify their safety position that already has Derwin James who finished the 2021 season as a Pro Bowler. Being able to add a veteran talent like him would potentially fast-track the development of a Chargers side that narrowly missed the playoffs last year.
If Thomas gains sufficient momentum if he finds himself playing in Los Angeles then the Chargers can potentially make noise amid a loaded AFC next season.
1. Dallas Cowboys
Perhaps the most logical spot for Thomas would be the Dallas Cowboys whom he wanted to play for back in 2017. In fact, he was also previously linked in numerous trade rumors with the team when he was still playing for the Seahawks. Despite the buzz, a deal to acquire Thomas never came to fruition for the Cowboys.
After an early exit in the playoffs last season, Jerry Jones’ squad has been surprisingly quiet in this year’s offseason. They have yet to make a significant signing thus far despite having holes to fill in their current roster.
Defensive backs continue to be a need for Dallas and it would make sense for them to sign Thomas now for a short-term, bargain deal. Not to mention that the veteran also has a good relationship with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn who held the same position with the Seahawks during the Legion of Boom era.
It would be interesting to see how Thomas will fare once he gets a chance to play for an NFL team in the near future after a two-year absence from the field. Perhaps suiting up for a Cowboys squad that he has always wanted to play for would better help him in his comeback bid to the league.