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As Many Big Names Leave, Seahawks Need To Keep Earl Thomas

John Froschauer
AP Photo
Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas walks on the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Seattle.

Younger, cheaper, and faster. That’s what next season's Seahawks roster should look like, according to KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel.

Art talked with KNKX Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick about the big changes the team has made and why it’s not over yet.

Shedding Salaries

"This roster has to get younger, it has to get cheaper and it has to get faster. And that's what's governing what's going on in free agency now," Thiel said.

In just over a week, the Seahawks have either traded or released Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman, Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson and others. Thiel outlines the changes here.

"They have to get below the salary cap that governs everything in the NFL," he said. "And it's a very cruel thing because it causes teams to get rid of players they would rather keep. But what it does is it spreads the talent around the NFL to make other teams strong as well."

No. 1 Goal: Keep Earl Thomas

In order for the Seahawks to stay strong, Thiel said the team needs to do everything in its power to keep free safety Earl Thomas.

"He's the linchpin in the defense. They've got to keep him. He's entering his final contract year. He's made it known that he'd like to be the highest-paid safety in the game. And I think he probably deserves it."

"Can the Seahawks afford him? Well, that's why they've been shedding salaries. They need to try to keep Earl Thomas happy. They also want to do the same thing for their left tackle they acquired in mid-season last year, Duane Brown."

"It's a tumultuous time for the Seahawks. They have numerous spots to fill with veteran free agency as well as the college draft, coming up at the end of April. And it's really difficult to do when they're up against the salary cap, having paid so many veterans who brought them success."

Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Sports With Art Thiel with iTunes or Google Play now. You can find Art Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.