Conduct detrimental to the team is a term teams use when discussing suspending, releasing, or trading a player or players. It can stem from arrests, DUI's, domestic violence allegations, or in this particular case, fighting. The Baltimore Ravens made a difficult but necessary choice to show its players and perhaps other NFL teams, that no player, no matter how good or valuable they are, is greater than the team. One year after signing a 4 year, $55 million contract, Earl Thomas was sent home from practice after getting into a fight with fellow safety Chuck Clark. Thomas was told to stay home from Saturday's and Sunday's practice following the fight.

Team officials made it clear that Thomas would be either fined, released, or traded. Sunday the decision was made to outright cut one of the game's best safety's when the Ravens officially cut Earl Thomas. The Ravens released an official statement on Sunday: "We have terminated S Earl Thomas' contract for personal conduct that has adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens."

Grant Gordon, an NFL.com contributor reported that several players were okay with the team seeking a trade or releasing Thomas. Ian Rappaport reported the Ravens are seeking to recoup the $10 million Earl Thomas was scheduled to make this season. Coach John Harbaugh held a press conference after Sunday's practice but did not go into details or give specifics, rather he referred back to the team statement and elaborated no further.

"The contract Earl Thomas signed before last season was for $55 million but the contract included offset language, which would reduce the amount owed to him by the Ravens should and lower the number of grievances that Thomas could file against the Ravens once he signs with a new team," Tom Pelissero reported.

Diving into the contract numbers, the Ravens will have $5 million in dead money this year and $10 million next year, but only if the team can support carrying his guaranteed contract on the salary cap. Should Thomas decide to file a grievance, another $4 million would be added to the dead money total until the grievance is resolved.

Thomas' release leaves an absence that will not be easily filled

The release of Earl Thomas shows that the Ravens management and coaches will not tolerate rogue behavior and will make examples of veteran players no matter the cost. Despite cutting one of the best safety's an all-around best defensive players in the league, the Ravens need to quickly adjust and fill in Thomas's spot. Currently, the Ravens can choose Deshon Elliott, the front-runner, Jordan Richards, or veteran Anthony Levine. No matter who is chosen, Ravens opponents will now have less to worry about if their quarterback throws an errant ball. Other options include moving CB Jimmy Smith to Safety or getting rookie linebacker Patrick Queen heavily involved in defensive gameplans.

Now that Thomas is officially released, he does not need to clear waivers and can sign with any team he wants. Three teams have already been reported to be interested in the services of Thomas, the Cowboys, the Houston Texans, and the 49ers according to Jordan Dajani of CBS Sports. Any team can come forward and offer Thomas a contract they think will be fair, but three teams are already linked to Thomas, the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Texans, and the 49ers While Thomas will no doubt benefit any team he signs with, his days of getting a fully guaranteed contract may be over with because of his recent actions. But since the NFL gives its players several chances to right their wrongs, Thomas needs to use this chance to show that he is still a team player willing to abide by the rules and show why he is one of the best defensive players in the league.

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