Earl Thomas is the latest member of the Super Bowl champions to be locked up for the future.
The best free safety in the NFL is getting rewarded quite well.
Thomas and the Seahawks reached an agreement Monday on a $40 million, four-year contract extension with just over $27.7 million guaranteed, according to two people with knowledge of the deal.
The deal also makes Thomas the highest-paid safety based on average annual salary.
Thomas, a two-time first-team All-Pro, could have gone into the 2014 season with free agency on the horizon. Instead, Seattle made sure to keep the most important cog of its defense through the 2018 season.
‘‘Earl is as serious a competitor as you could ever hope to be around. He is in it, and he’s on it and dialed in,’’ coach Pete Carroll said before the Super Bowl.
With Thomas’s deal finished, the Seahawks can turn their attention toward trying to get a deal done with All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman .
Thomas was Seattle’s second-leading tackler last season with 105 and had five interceptions.
The Seahawks also hired former Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland as a consultant for the team through the 2014 draft.
Ireland was the Dolphins’ general manager for six seasons before he left the team in January following a tumultuous year for Miami, which was rocked by a bullying scandal.
The Seahawks did not say whether Ireland would remain with the team after the draft.
Rams secure Quinn
The Rams exercised the fifth-year contract option on All-Pro defensive end Robert Quinn, keeping one of the NFL’s top pass rushers in the fold through 2015. Quinn set a franchise record with 19 sacks last season, second most in the NFL. He has 29½ sacks the last two seasons, also the second-highest total in the league in that span. Quinn, a first-round pick in 2011 out of North Carolina, was a first-time Pro Bowl selection last year . . . Eagles coach Chip Kelly said the decision to cut wide receiver DeSean Jackson was “purely a football decision,” according to an ESPN.com report. Kelly made the remark at an event in Philadelphia. Owner Jeffrey Lurie, also at the event, said that Jackson “was not a fit.”
A flyer on Young?
Free agent quarterback Vince Young is taking a physical with the Browns and is expected to participate in Cleveland’s minicamp this week. Young hasn’t played in a regular-season game since 2011 with Philadelphia. He has spent parts of the past two offseasons with Buffalo and Green Bay . . . Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar pled no contest to a reckless operation charge after blaming knee and ankle surgeries for not performing a field sobriety test during a traffic stop last year in suburban Cleveland. Kosar had been charged with drunken driving in September, but he entered a plea to the lesser charge and received a $750 fine and suspended jail sentence . . . Bears wide receiver Josh Morgan was arrested and charged with punching a man outside a Washington nightclub. Officer Paul Metcalf confirmed Morgan was arrested early Sunday and charged with simple assault, a misdemeanor. Morgan agreed to a one-year deal with Chicago last week; he played for Washington for each of the previous two seasons. He told WRC-TV in Washington that he didn’t touch the man . . . An unusual stock tied to 49ers tight end Vernon Davis’s earning potential gained $2, hitting the $12 mark in its trading debut Monday. Only 496 of the 421,100 shares sold in the initial public offering by Fantex Inc. traded. The stock’s 20 percent gain represents a vote of confidence in Davis. This marks the first time a stock has been linked to the performance of a pro athlete, a risky concept that highlights the confluence of sports and business. Fantex is paying $4 million to Davis in exchange for 10 percent of his income from football and endorsements. The payment came from the IPO proceeds.