LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Why Earl Thomas makes sense after Derwin James’ injury

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Earl Thomas #29 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08: Earl Thomas #29 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Logan Bowles/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Logan Bowles/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The Legion of Boom connection

Gus Bradley was the defensive coordinator when the Legion of Boom rose to its peak in Seattle. He has that connection with Thomas. While Thomas might not be at the level that he was in the Seattle days, the LA Chargers play the same defensive system that the Seahawks did.

The #Chargers play the same system as the #Seahawks with DC Gus Bradley. Earl Thomas is still a free agent. Would be an intriguing option for LAC if they felt compelled to go with a veteran replacement for Derwin James.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 30, 2020

In terms of replacing James, I doubt Thomas would be a strong safety if the Chargers decided to sign him. More than likely what would happen is that Thomas would be starting free safety as Jenkins moves to strong. That leaves some questions about Nasir Adderley’s role, which I’ll get to later on.

Thomas isn’t a do-it-all box safety. To put it bluntly, you’re not finding another player like James. That was true last year when he got hurt, and it’s true this year. Thomas would add to the overall depth of the secondary though and can start at free safety from day one.

Being familiar with Bradley’s scheme is a very positive reason to sign Thomas. He’ll get up to speed more quickly than some of the other options mentioned previously. While fans may be hesitant on some of the baggage that comes with Thomas, his style of play would absolutely fit in the Chargers’ defense.

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