Earl Thomas #29 of the Seattle Seahawks speaks to the media during an availability January 29, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks will meet at Super Bowl XLVIII at Metlife Stadium on February 2, 2014. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
RENTON - Seattle Seahawks S Earl Thomas officially signed his four-year contract extension that will make him the highest paid safety in the game on Tuesday.
Thomas agreed to an extension Monday that will pay $40 million with $27.725 guaranteed. The deal keeps Thomas under contract with Seattle through the 2018 season.
"This is a very historic day for the Seattle Seahawks organization," general manager John Schneider said.
Thomas said it was important for him to be the highest paid safety in the league.
"Definitely," Thomas said. "I compete in everything I do. I want to set the bar. That was my goal."
Thomas has been a star in his first four seasons with Seattle. His been named an All-Pro in each of the last three seasons with the team and helped lead the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl victory in February.
Thomas has become one of the most important cogs in the league's best defense.
"That Super Bowl season was more [than football] to me," Thomas said. "I grew as a man. This is where I grew up. ...I love this place. It's very dear to my heart."
Seattle's defense led the league in yards allowed (273.6/game), passing yards allowed (172.0/game) and points per game (14.4). They forced four turnovers and scored a defensive touchdown in the team's 43-8 manhandling of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Thomas said it was important to him to get his new contract done this offseason so that his sole focus can be on the upcoming season when training camp begins in the fall.
"I wanted a clear conscience going into camp and everything," Thomas said. "I take the mental side of football very seriously and I don't like distractions."
Seattle gave S Kam Chancellor a contract extension last offseason. Head coach Pete Carroll was given a new contract in early April. CB Richard Sherman is reportedly closing in on a contract extension as well. Thomas says it's a sign of commitment from the team to keep their core together.
"It’s just a commitment," Thomas said. "I’m very committed to this organization. I told coach Carroll yesterday, I need you to be totally honest. I need you to be real with me, because I’m a realist. You never know what you say to me that might trigger something from my past, bringing me back. It’s like that divine reassurance. Like man, this is why I am who I am."
Earl Thomas is fast even off the field:
Thomas has a reputation for being one of the fastest defensive players in the NFL. That speed apparently carries over to everyday life as well.
Thomas was on his way to team headquarters Tuesday to attend the press conference announcing his own contract extension. However, Thomas and his family was running behind schedule.
"I was really kind of upset," Thomas said.
While trying to hurry to the facility, Thomas was pulled over by a police officer just shy of "Seahawks Way," the street where team headquarters in located in Renton.
When asked if he really got pulled over, Thomas joked, "Definitely, I didn't make it up," Thomas said.
"I didn't try and bulldog him and say, 'My name is Earl Thomas.' Because then he would be like, 'This dude is cocky,' and give me a ticket," Thomas added. "He let me off. That's the moral of the story. He let me off."