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Earl Thomas rejoins Seattle Seahawks after holdout

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The Seattle Seahawks finally have good news on a key defensive player ahead of the regular-season opener against the Denver Broncos.

Safety Earl Thomas announced Wednesday morning on Instagram his plan to report to the team, but indicated his displeasure over how his contract situation was handled.

"I worked my whole life for this," Thomas posted. "I've never let me teammates, city or fans down as long as I've lived and don't plan on starting this weekend.

"With that being said, the disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten. Father Time may have an undefeated record but best believe I plan on taking him into triple overtime when it comes to my career."


Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed to reporters Wednesday afternoon that Thomas was in the building and at practice, but he did not indicate if if the star safety would start this Sunday. Seattle has been granted a roster exemption for Thomas, allowing him to not count against the team's 53-man roster until he's activated. The Seahawks would have to activate him by Saturday in order for him to be eligible to play Sunday.

Thomas, 29, is seeking a new deal as he enters the final year of his contract, which pays a base salary of $8.5 million. Considered on the of the NFL's elite defenders, Thomas seems deserving of a new deal after being selected as a first-team All-Pro three times and a six-time Pro Bowler since entering the league in 2010.

Seattle's decision makers, however, haven't budge despite Thomas being the only NFL player with 25 interceptions and 10-plus forced fumbles since 2010. Thomas' 25 interceptions also ranks as the fourth-most since 2010 behind Richard Sherman (32), Reggie Nelson (29) and Brent Grimes (26).

Without a contract extension, Thomas elected to stay away from team activities throughout the offseason and incurred financial penalties for missing Seattle's mandatory three-day minicamp, training camp and preseason.

The Seahawks agreed to wipe away almost all of the fines, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the situation.

Trade speculation swirled over the summer months, and the Dallas Cowboys emerged as a potential suitor. The Cowboys upped their offer recently to a second-round pick in exchange for Thomas before bowing out, Rapoport reported.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told Denver media during a Wednesday teleconference that he has met with Thomas, but there are factors to consider before a decision is made on Thomas' availability for Sunday.

"There are all kinds of stuff," Carroll told reporters, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic. "I don't know what kind of shape he's in and all that kind of stuff. We'll figure it out."

In the meantime, the Thomas holdout saga is officially over. And even if the Seahawks decide Thomas isn't ready for Week 1 given the missed time, the team can at least focus on preparing for the regular season with Thomas -- happy or not -- in the fold.

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