They say that money talks, but if you for one second think now that Seattle Seahawks All-Pro defensive backs Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas got paid that their money is going to say goodbye to their level of play, then you are in for a rude awakening.
Both Sherman and Thomas are motivated by something much greater than a paycheck. The new contracts were about respect, but it was not the final “I told you so” that these two have in mind. No, these guys have something much bigger to achieve. The ultimate goal is to be the greatest players at their respected positions, playing for the greatest team in the league. Oh, and I don’t just mean right now, or even over the next five years. I mean in the history of the NFL. The best – ever.
That’s right. Take it all in. Many, heck, maybe even most of you, probably scoff at the idea of Sherman and Thomas becoming the best to ever play the game at their positions. But doubt is what they want; doubt is what motivates them to get better, and better, and better. It is a collective hunger throughout the entire Seahawks’ roster, and it is what propelled them to become the Super Bowl champions last season as they dominated the favorite Denver Broncos 43-8.
If you are not cheering for the Seahawks, then you are hoping for the drop off that so many young players endure after getting paid. I suggest you quit hoping unless you want to be severely disappointed, because that is not the Seahawks way; it is not the Legion of Boom way.
Kam Chancellor, the Seahawks’ monster strong safety, received his new contract before last year. He then went out and had a year that earned him Second-Team All-Pro Honors. There was no drop off; in fact, it was quite the opposite. Chancellor also earned his his second trip to the Pro Bowl.
Thomas is the NFL’s unanimous best free safety in the game. Thomas has no quit in him. It is simply not an action or word that he recognizes. has managed to make three straight Pro Bowls, and has been First-Team All-Pro twice in a row in his young career. My money is on Thomas keeping that streak alive.
That leaves me with Sherman, the Seahawks’ 2011 fifth-round draft selection. You love him because he is yours, or you hate him because he’s not (you know it’s true). Even The Most Interesting Man in the World thinks Sherman is the most interesting man in the world. Since being drafted, Sherman has led the NFL in interceptions (20) and passes defensed (59). That is kind of important for a cornerback. He has done all that despite not starting until Week 7 of the 2011 season, by the way. Sherman had been snubbed by the Pro Bowl until last year, but he has been First-Team All-Pro for two consecutive years, which is a much greater honor. People still continue to doubt Sherman’s ability, but that’s okay – he welcomes it.
Only time will tell if Sherman and Thomas reach their goals. But keep in mind, even if they don’t become the greatest in NFL history, their determination to get there will keep them on top of the league for a very, very long time. Money won’t change a thing.