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#pounditMonday, March 4, 2024

Doug Baldwin defends Earl Thomas over middle finger salute

Earl Thomas probably played his last game as a member of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, and the message he sent the team on his way out the door was a very clear one. It was also one that many felt was classless, but the All-Pro safety’s veteran teammates don’t see it that way.

After he suffered a broken leg in a win over the Arizona Cardinals, Thomas was shown flashing his middle finger at Seattle’s sideline while he was carted to the locker room. It was obviously intended for management and not his teammates, and wide receiver Doug Baldwin had no issue with it.

“I feel it,” Baldwin said of Thomas flipping the bird, per Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times. “You have a guy who gives his all. He literally puts his body on the line. … I know there’s a business they have to run. I understand that. But how can you get mad at him? He’s got a business he has to run too.”

Baldwin also spoke about Thomas’ contract situation, noting that the 29-year-old had every right to want a new deal “especially when you have such a high risk of being injured.” Linebacker Bobby Wagner defended Thomas for showing raw emotion.

“It might not be right. It might not be the best emotions, but it’s good to have emotions,” Wagner said. “Let him have emotions for whatever it is.”

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the game that Thomas has been diagnosed with a leg fractures and will be placed on injured reserve. Carroll also spoke about how great of a relationship he has had with Thomas, so he took the high road with regard to the middle finger.

Prior to Sunday, talk of Thomas being traded was really starting to ramp up. Now, he will likely head into free agency coming off a major injury.


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