Baltimore Ravens release safety Earl Thomas after training camp fight with teammate Chuck Clark
One of the team's marquee free agency signings last year, safety Earl Thomas will play just one of the four seasons he had signed up for with the Baltimore Ravens.
"We have terminated S Earl Thomas’ contract for personal conduct that has adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens," the team announced Sunday, after he fought a teammate in practice Friday.
Thomas was sent home after the altercation with fellow safety Chuck Clark. Then on Saturday, during the portion open to media, Thomas was not seen on the field for Baltimore's practice. The Ravens called Thomas' absence on Saturday an "organizational decision."
Clark was a full participant in practice on Saturday.
Earl Thomas was entering his second season with the Ravens. (Photo: Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports)
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"Appreciate the Ravens organization for the opportunity," Thomas wrote Sunday in message posted to an Instagram story. "Had a great run .. Wish things would have ended different but you live and you learn. Thank you (general manager) Eric DeCosta and everyone else who played a role in bringing me to B-More. Wish you guys the best."
According to Spotrac, Thomas earned $22 million for his one year in Baltimore and was also due $10 million in guaranteed salary for the 2020 season.
The language in Baltimore's announcement is a strong indicator that it will look to void the guarantees in Thomas' contract. Thomas, his agents and the NFL Players Association can file a grievance to collect some or all of the guaranteed money.
Thomas, in a since-deleted message on Instagram, expressed his frustration about the matter.
“Being sent home sucks,” Thomas wrote on social media, with the post including video from Friday’s practice of the play that led to the skirmish with Clark. “I can’t take the reps I need to keep momentum going. But I can reflect on things and keep working my plan to help the team win. This has been one of my best camps.”
Thomas, 31, spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks and won Super Bowl XLVIII. The Texas Longhorns product has 30 career interceptions.
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