Earl Thomas needs to prove himself
After the way his tenures in Seattle and Baltimore ended, Thomas needs to show a team that he can contribute without being a distraction for a full season. While it may not seem desperate right now, he’s running out of chances as a starter at the NFL level.
James will obviously be back next season or later on this year, but Thomas being available strikes me as an opportunity for the LA Chargers. A one year “prove it” deal for the veteran safety would give him the chance to prove himself, while playing in what is still a quality secondary even after the James injury.
He could go to San Francisco or Houston, both of which are rumored landing spots. Neither of those teams has anything comparable to Casey Hayward, Desmond King, Chris Harris, and other young prospects with potential like Adderley.
If Thomas wants the best possible 2020 season to get one more long term contract, it makes sense to go to the best situation out there. That would be the Chargers, if they’re interested in his services.
Tom Telesco and Anthony Lynn both value team culture and locker room fit. They tend to steer clear of any potential hazards that could cause trouble. It’s certainly an understandable mentality, but this would be a very low-risk move if it’s a one year deal. If it doesn’t work out, they can move on during the year or after.
The fact that Thomas has to prove himself puts all the pressure on him in 2020 rather than the LA Chargers.
There’s understandable hesitance when it comes to the idea of signing Thomas after seeing his recent stints, but it would make sense for the team to consider it. Bradley’s defensive scheme is perfect for Thomas to come in from day one. We don’t know how Adderley will react to the NFL game after not playing a snap in his rookie year. Finally, all of the pressure would mostly be on Thomas rather than the Chargers.