Earl Thomas begins hold out as Seahawks training camp gets underway

Arizona Cardinals v Seattle Seahawks

RENTON -- For the second time in four seasons, a star Seahawks safety is holding out from training camp in hopes of leveraging a new contract.

Free safety Earl Thomas was absent for the start of Seattle's 2018 campaign on Thursday, following through on a statement made in June that he would "not be attending the upcoming minicamp or any team activities until my contract situation is resolved."

"He's been here for a long time. We always expect him to be here. It's kind of how it is. He should be here and he's not," head coach Pete Carroll said. "It's really about the guys that are here now and we're going to keep moving and grooving and putting it together. It's unfortunate.

"We're expecting him back. He's under contract."

Thomas, 29, is set to enter the final year of his contract with the Seahawks. He is scheduled to make $8.5 million in 2018.

"I want everyone especially the 12s to know that I want to remain a Seahawk for the rest of my career but I also believe that based on my production over the last 8 years that I’ve earned the right to have this taken care of as soon as possible," Thomas wrote in June. 

"I want to have certainty in regards to the upcoming years of my career. I’m going to continue to work my craft and put in work so that I can add to the team and give us the best chance to win. I hope my teammates understand where I’m coming from I believe this is the right thing to do."

Thomas can be fined $40,000 a day for each day he misses. If the hold out were to extend beyond the first five days of camp, the team can also fine him 15 percent of his prorated signing bonus of $1.9 million. That amount increases by 1 percent for each day he misses up to a maximum of 25 percent.

If the hold out were to continue into the regular season, he would lose 1/17th of his base salary for every game missed. An addition 25 percent of his prorated signing bonus would also be imposed upon missing the first regular season game. 

Thomas already racked up $84,435 in fines for skipping the team's three-day mandatory mini-camp in June. However, fines are ultimately the team's discretion and it would be up to the Seahawks whether to ultimately demand the funds.

Thomas is officially placed on the reserve/did not report list while on his hold out, which opens up a roster spot in the interim.

Kam Chancellor placed on reserve/PUP list, Malik McDowell waived:

It's more a formality than anything, but the Seahawks placed safety Kam Chancellor on the physically unable to perform list and defensive tackle Malik McDowell was waived due to injuries sustained in an accident last June.

Chancellor announced earlier this month on his (now seemingly deleted) Twitter account that new scans on his injured neck showed he was not going to be able to play football this season for health reasons. Chancellor didn't mention retirement in that posting and the Seahawks owe him guaranteed money due to the injury. His placement on the reserve/PUP list brings his season to an immediate end.

"He's going to miss this year," Carroll said. "... He's been an awesome Seahawk and he always is and will be and all that but right now that's what this is about. He'll miss the season."

McDowell was injured in an ATV accident a year ago prior to the start of training camp and has not practiced with the team since. He spent all of last season on the non-football injury list and nothing appears to have changed regarding his status.

"There's not much I can say about it at this time," Carroll said.

McDowell was officially waived with a non-football injury designation.

"It always was disappointing," Carroll said. "This whole process has been disappointing because he had a real upside. We took a big pick to take him and all that and unfortunately it didn't happen. We made a move last year because he wasn't here (acquiring Sheldon Richardson from the New York Jets) so that just shows you how important it was."

Additionally, cornerback DeAndre Elliott was waived with a failed physical designation after not being able to get back to full strength from an ankle injury sustained last preseason. The team signed tight ends Je'Ron Hamm and Kayaune Ross to fill some of the open roster spots created by the moves on Wednesday.


Roster Moves/Injury Updates:

-- Defensive end Frank Clark will be eased into training camp work as he's recovering from surgery on his wrist this summer. Clark took part in individual drills but was held out of team work on the first day of practice.

-- Defensive end Dion Jordan begins camp on the PUP list due to "something that came out of his workouts."

“He’s got an issue we are working on,” Carroll said. “It’s going to be a few weeks before we will be able to get him back out.”

Carroll didn't say specifically whether it was a knee issue like Jordan has experienced before and that kept him out of work during OTAs and mini-camp.

-- Cornerback Dontae Johnson begins camp on the PUP list as he continues to recover from a broken bone in his foot that required surgery this offseason. Carroll thought it would be no more than two weeks before Johnson is able to get back on the field.

-- Tight end Ed Dickson is on the non-football injury list after sustaining a minor groin injury while working out recently. The injury is expected to keep Dickson sidelined a few days.

-- Tight end Clayton Wilson is also on the PUP list to open camp.

-- The Seahawks claimed tight end Kyle Carter off waivers from the New York Giants, per the league transaction report. The additions of Carter, Ross and Hamm will help cover the early absences of Dickson and Wilson in camp.

-- Tackle George Fant was held out of team work on the first day as he works back from a torn ACL last preseason. Carroll said Fant is full speed now but they are holding him back four or five days just to easy him into camp. Fant will begin on the left side of the line where he's had previous experience before being cleared to work on the right side.

-- Cornerback Trovon Reed tweeted he is "Officially a Seattle Seahawk," which would bring Seattle's roster to 90 players after the additional moves of the day. Reed has been with Seattle twice before and returns after spending time with the San Francisco 49ers this offseason.

Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Free safety Earl Thomas #29 of the Seattle Seahawks nearly intercepts the ball against tight end Troy Niklas #87 of the Arizona Cardinals in the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field on December 31, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)

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