Chargers: Is Earl Thomas worth pursuing? Multiple experts chime in

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10: Earl Thomas (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 10: Earl Thomas (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Chargers have been one of the quietest teams this NFL offseason. One potential star that lingers over the hopeful minds of Charger fans is Seattle safety Earl Thomas.

The Los Angeles Chargers have a hole to fill at free safety. Prior to last season, the team signed former Carolina Panthers’ safety Tre Boston to a one-year deal. Boston far exceeded expectations and was the Chargers’ second-best secondary threat behind Casey Hayward.

Now, Boston is a free agent and his status with the team is unclear. The NFL offseason has been underway for a month and Boston remains unsigned. With the Chargers already extending Casey Hayward this offseason, the inactivity around Boston could be concerning.

A fairly solid offseason thus far could be ruined if the team does not re-sign Boston. That is, of course, if they do not bring in a replacement for Boston.

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One potential candidate to replace Boston is All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas. Trade rumors around Thomas have been circling since the end of the NFL season; the latest being that the Seahawks are in trade talks with multiple NFL teams.

The Los Angeles Chargers have not been tied directly to the Seahawks, however, Thomas does fit perfectly in Los Angeles. Thomas would be in a similar situation as he was with the Legion of Boom; in a very talented secondary with a pass-rush that can get to the quarterback.

Matt Pagels of Bolt Beat — our FanSided sister site that also covers the Los Angeles Chargers — brought up his ideal Earl Thomas trade scenario a few weeks ago. In his article dedicated to the topic, Pagels suggests the following trade:

This deal does make sense for both sides. The Los Angeles Chargers would be taking away from a strong area of the secondary and replacing it with an All-Pro talent at free safety. With Casey Hayward, Desmond King and Trevor Williams, though, Verrett’s absence was not missed last season.

Thus, it is safe to assume that the Chargers would be just fine in parting ways with Verrett, the team’s first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

However, the same reason why the Chargers would want to trade Verrett is the same reason that would keep the Seahawks from trading for him. Although Verrett is very talented and could help a now barren Seattle secondary, he can’t stay healthy.

Verrett has played in five games the last two seasons. Overall, Verrett has missed 39 games in his four-year NFL career. The Seahawks will be very reluctant to trade Thomas for an injury-prone cornerback.

I also reached out to LA Sports Hub contributor, Isaac Gutierrez, to get his ideal scenario for trading for Earl Thomas. Gutierrez follows the Chargers closely and offered a pretty Chargers-friendly package for Thomas:

Although three draft picks would be valued immensely in a trade, especially by the NFL’s standards, you can’t help but think that the Seahawks would ask for much more than this.

The Seahawks know that there will be some team out there that will be willing to offer a first or second-round pick for Thomas. If Seattle were to accept this deal it would likely have to come after all other options have been explored. The chances that a team, especially the Dallas Cowboys, would not offer more for Thomas is slim.

However, I would not completely count it out. NFL teams seem to overvalue draft picks; swapping very talented guys for mid-round picks. While it may seem pretty improbably, it definitely is not impossible.

I also reached out to Will Reeve Jr, the managing editor of the Chargers Wire. Reeve was not as sold on Earl Thomas as the others.

“Thomas to the Bolts isn’t something I can get behind. Overpriced and ok downward side of career. He’s also someone who has already hinted at retirement,” Reeve said, via Twitter direct message.

And that may be the right answer after all. As someone who follows the Los Angeles Chargers, the idea of getting Earl Thomas excites me. The Chargers have a very talented core group of guys that can be legitimately dangerous with just a few added pieces.

However, the Chargers can also just as easily commit to bringing Tre Boston back long-term. Boston is three years younger than Thomas and can be committed to long-term. There is no guarantee that Thomas will want to play football past next season, let alone play with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Next: Who should the Chargers draft in the first-round?

By committing to Tre Boston, the Chargers would be maintaining the current group of guys while also maintaining every draft pick. It may be the boring answer, but is also is probably the right answer.