Free safety Earl Thomas has agreed to sign a four-year, $40 million contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks with $27.725 million in guaranteed money, per multiple reports.
"Scratch one big offseason goal off the list for the Seahawks as they came to an agreement Monday with free safety Earl Thomas on a four-year extension that will make him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.
"A source close to the situation confirmed earlier reports from NFL.com that Thomas has agreed to a deal that will pay him a reported $40 million for four years, with $27.725 million guaranteed.
"Thomas is already under contract through the 2014 season, due to make $4.625 million in 2014 on the last year of his intial rookie contract, and would have been an unrestricted free agent following the season.
"Thomas will now make roughly $45 million through the 2018 season.
"The $10 million average of his extension tops the six-year, $54 million deal recently signed by New Orleans' Jairus Byrd, who was lured away from Buffalo in March, the most for an NFL safety.
"It has been thought that Thomas wanted a deal that would top that of Byrd."
The NFL.com report Condotta is referring to is that of Kevin Patra, who cites NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport:
"The Seattle Seahawks have locked down hard-hitting safety Earl Thomas long term.
"NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport broke the news Monday that the Seahawks agreed to a blockbuster four-year contract extension worth $40 million with $27.725 million guaranteed, per a source informed of the situation.
"The deal will make Thomas easily the highest-paid safety in the NFL.
"The 24-year-old Thomas was a lynchpin to the Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl championship His size, speed, hitting ability and nose for the football make him one of the NFL's most indispendsable defensive backs."
Thomas' annual average salary of $10 million now surpasses the previous league-high for a safety which used to belong to the Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu ($9.867 million), per ESPN's Terry Blount.
Condotta states the Seahawks' next priority would be to lock up cornerback Richard Sherman, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014 NFL season. Sherman is seeking a deal that would make him the highest-paid NFL cornerback.
Condotta notes Seattle could possibly reach a deal with Sherman around the time of the 2014 NFL Draft, which is scheduled from May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
The Seahawks, who still have around $14.7 million in salary-cap space according to the latest NFL Players Association figures, are also looking at a long-term extension for quarterback Russell Wilson. However, the league's labor agreement states that can only materialize after next season, per The Seattle Times update.
The 24-year-old Thomas was drafted 14th overall by Seattle out of the University of Texas in 2010.
He has 345 tackles, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 15 interceptions through April 28, per ESPN stats.