Baltimore Ravens: Pros and cons of trading Earl Thomas

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 20: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks and Earl Thomas #29 of the Baltimore Ravens exchange jerseys after the game at CenturyLink Field on October 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Baltimore Ravens top the Seattle Seahawks 30-16. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 20: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks and Earl Thomas #29 of the Baltimore Ravens exchange jerseys after the game at CenturyLink Field on October 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Baltimore Ravens top the Seattle Seahawks 30-16. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 20: Earl Thomas #29 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates a defensive stand against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at CenturyLink Field on October 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Baltimore Ravens top the Seattle Seahawks 30-16. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 20: Earl Thomas #29 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates a defensive stand against the Seattle Seahawks during the game at CenturyLink Field on October 20, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Baltimore Ravens top the Seattle Seahawks 30-16. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Pros to trading Thomas:

The Ravens have a lot of young talent at the safety positions. Chuck Clark is the definitive owner of the strong safety spot. DeShon Elliott shows a lot of promise as an understudy and is popular with his teammates. Geno Stone isn’t ready to start, but the late round draft pick does have potential that people are excited about. In the worst case scenario the Ravens can put Anthony Levine Sr. back at free safety. He may not be in his most comfortable role doing this, but Levine Sr. is a player the Ravens trust in a position where trust is everything.

That’s the real big point here. Trust in the secondary is key. A miscommunication is the difference between a touchdown and an interception, a win and a loss. Thomas needs to get on the same page with Chuck Clark. Two very talented people who can’t work well together are not a functional pairing. With the understanding that Thomas is only dealt if the Ravens have to go there any trade that happens will be a last resort.

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Weakening the secondary isn’t on the training camp checklist. If the Ravens feel they can get by with Elliott or Levine Sr. and they need to get rid of a problem player you have to trust the organization. If Thomas was having trouble with a habitually bad franchise, you’d have to stop and think about it from both sides. Trust in this matter has to go to Eric DeCosta, John Harbaugh and ultimately in the organization that Art Modell started and Steve Bisciotti has built on.

If the Ravens trade Thomas and get rid of his salary cap hit, the Ravens are open for business. They could go get a pass rusher. They may be able to make a move for Yannick Ngakoue or sign Jadeveon Clowney. There’s a lot of options that would open up. With more pass rush and the leadership of Clark and a great group of cornerbacks, Elliott may be just fine at free safety. Depending on what DeCosta can pull off, the defense could be better without Thomas than with him. Taking away from the secondary to help the Ravens at outside linebacker is a trade off that could work out for them in the long run. They have such a surplus of defensive back talent that they can at least consider this kind of thinking.