Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas finally showed up to practice and joined his teammates on Wednesday, effectively ending his contract holdout.
Thomas took to Instagram and posted a photo of him at the team facility to announce the news, with a lengthy caption attached to it.
And while Le’Veon Bell’s Steeler teammates voiced their displeasure on Wednesday about his holdout lasting as long as it has, the Seahawks just appeared to be happy that Thomas is back with the team.
“He’s one of the best players that plays the game,” head coach Pete Carroll said, according to Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk. “He’s been a marvelous part of our program for a long time. That’s why we never waived in the thought that he wasn’t going to be with us and it was just a matter of time to try to make sense or do what we could do and fortunately we’re back at it and we’d like him to be a Seahawk for the rest of his career. That’s how we’ve always thought about it, so the rest of it will take care of it when the time is right.”
Seahawks star receiver Doug Baldwin said he was “ecstatic” about Thomas returning, and that he gave his teammate a hug upon seeing him back with the team for the first time.
“Ecstatic,” Baldwin said. “When I saw him sitting down in the meeting room, I couldn’t help but (to) just go and give him a big hug. That’s my boy, I love him to death. … It’s really hard to come by guys who think out of this stratosphere as Bobby would like to call it. So, it was really exciting to have him back. Can’t wait to spend more time with him.”
It’s likely that the Seahawks secondary will welcome Thomas back with open arms, as the Legion of Boom is no more. Thomas is the only remaining original member of the former star-studded unit currently on track to play in Sunday’s Week 1 matchup, and his veteran presence in the defensive backfield is needed.