Would Earl Thomas make any sense for the Detroit Lions?
By Reuben Gasee
Would Earl Thomas, the seven-time Pro Bowler, fit in the Detroit Lions’ defense?
Just recently, the Baltimore Ravens released star safety Earl Thomas following an altercation with a teammate. With his release, he’s now free to sign with any team that offers him a contract. That being said, should the Detroit Lions offer him one?
Thomas is a star at his position as he’s one of the top safeties in the league. He’s appeared in 140 games recording 713 tackles (497 solo) with 30 interceptions and 73 passes deflected. Those break down to averages of 71.3 tackles, three interceptions and 7.3 passes deflected in a season over 10 years in the league.
Prior to joining the Ravens for the 2019 season, he was apart of the Seattle Seahawks “Legion of Boom” defense from 2010-2018. He won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks in 2013, was named an All-Pro five times, and selected to the 2010s All-Decade team.
There’s no denying that Thomas is a great player and that he has quite an impressive resume. Although those things don’t necessarily matter when it comes to determining if he’s the right fit for the Lions’ roster. So, does he fit in Detroit?
Currently, at the safety positions, the Lions have projected starters Duron Harmon and Tracy Walker. Harmon was acquired from the New England Patriots this offseason in order to get players familiar with head coach Matt Patricia’s defensive style of play.
Harmon has been in the league for seven years where he’s posted 175 tackles (137 solo) with 17 interceptions and 28 passes deflected. What’s even more impressive is that he’s missed just one game in his career which came all the way back in his rookie year in 2013.
Meanwhile, Walker has only been in the league for two seasons after being selected in the third round of the 2018 draft. His rookie season is nothing to write about but he took a big leap forward in his sophomore year recording 103 tackles (82 solo), an interception and eight pass deflections in 13 games. He only seems to be getting better from here.
While Walker is on the rise, he probably won’t reach the level Thomas is at. And neither will Harmon who has came nowhere close to the production or numbers put up by the former Ravens and Seahawks star safety.
The Lions won’t replace Walker as he’s a vital part of their defense. If Thomas were to take Harmon’s starting spot, the Lions defense would get a huge upgrade. Although, Harmon’s not losing his spot to anyone due to his familiarity with Patricia’s scheme.
Earl Thomas is a better player than Tracy Walker or Duron Harmon. And he would immediately make the Detroit Lions defense better. But, in the end, there doesn’t seem to be a logical fit.