After letting multiple defensive players walk in free agency, the Baltimore Ravens have finally made a big signing. 

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has confirmed that Earl Thomas and the Ravens have agreed to terms on a four-year, $55 million deal. According to ESPN.com, the safety’s deal includes $32 million in guaranteed money at signing with $22 million of that being paid out over the first nine months of the contract. 

The signing is a huge move for the Ravens, who let Eric Weddle leave in free agency earlier this month. Thomas was drawing interest from multiple teams over the past few days, including the Browns and Cowboys, but it seems the Ravens were the only team willing to meet his asking price. Thomas was reportedly hoping to land a deal that would make him the highest paid safety in the NFL, and that’s exactly what he ended up getting from Baltimore. 

The $32 million guaranteed at signing is more than Landon Collins got with the Redskins ($26 million). As far as average annual value, Thomas’ deal will pay out $13.75 million per year, which puts him behind only Collins and Tyrann Matheiu, who are getting $14 million per year with their new teams.

Thomas was clearly thrilled about getting paid. 

The signing in Baltimore ends a dramatic 12 months for Thomas. 

During the 2018 season, the safety was headed into the final year of his contract with the Seahawks that was set to pay him $8.5 million in base salary. As one of the best safeties in the league over the past nine seasons, Thomas didn’t feel that his salary was big enough, so he threatened to sit out training camp unless Seattle agreed to redo his deal. 

The Seahawks didn’t bite and Thomas ended missing all of training camp. Things actually got so bad between the two sides that Seattle tried to trade Thomas just before the start of the 2018 season. 

Although Thomas did show in time for the Seahawks’ opener, the safety’s season was cut short after he broke his leg during a Week 4 win over the Cardinals. After the injury, Thomas famously flipped the bird at the Seahawks sideline as he was being carted off the field

If there’s any risk for the Ravens here, it’s that they just gave $32 million in guaranteed money to a player coming off a broken leg. Not to mention, Thomas’ age isn’t exactly working in his favor with the safety set to turn 30 on May 7. 

That being said, the Ravens might not be too concerned about his age and that’s because Thomas will be replacing Weddle, who’s actually older than him. 

Ravens fans will likely be delighted by this move and that’s because Baltimore has basically letting a new defensive player leave every day. During the free agency tampering period, the Ravens lost their leading tackler from 2018 (C.J. Mosley), their sack leader (Za’Darius Smith), the player that recorded the most tackles for a loss (Terrell Suggs) and the player who played the most defensive snaps (Weddle). 

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