The Ravens made the right decision in terminating the contract of safety Earl Thomas III. They had too much to lose in a season in which they are heavy favorites to win a third Super Bowl title in the team’s 25-year history.
The team announced the decision Sunday, two days after Thomas was involved in a heated dispute with fellow safety Chuck Clark toward the end of practice. The Ravens concluded that Thomas’ personal conduct had “adversely affected” the team.
The move was slightly unusual because coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens have shown a willingness to give players second chances in the past, such as tight end Nick Boyle, outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Sergio Kindle and cornerback Jimmy Smith. The Ravens didn’t release Ray Rice until after video emerged of the star running back punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in the elevator of an Atlantic City casino.
But there was more at stake with Thomas than with some of the other troubled players. Thomas, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, Super Bowl champion and one of the best to ever play his position, alienated a lot of his teammates to the point in which they didn’t care if he returned or not.