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Sunday’s NFL: Ravens terminate contract of S Earl Thomas after fight

David Ginsburg
Associated Press

The Baltimore Ravens have terminated the contract of seven-time Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, who got involved in a fight with a teammate Friday and did not attend practice Saturday.

According to a statement released Sunday by the team, Thomas was released “for personal conduct that adversely affected the Baltimore Ravens.”

The Baltimore Ravens have terminated the contract of the seven-time Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas, who got involved in a fight with a teammate Friday and did not attend practice Saturday.

The action stems from Thomas’ fray with defensive back Chuck Clark at practice after Thomas admittedly blew a coverage assignment. Although the Ravens don’t have someone else with his talent at free safety, keeping Thomas would have created the potential for poor chemistry on a team with aspirations of playing in the Super Bowl.

Coach John Harbaugh had little to say on the matter after Sunday’s practice at Baltimore’s home stadium.

“I think the statement speaks for itself. There’s really not much more to add to that,” he said. “Just planning on leaving it at that at this point.”

Asked to comment on Thomas’ brief stay with the Ravens, Harbaugh replied, “We’re good. Moving forward. Eyes ahead.”

Secondary coach Chris Hewitt followed Harbaugh’s lead.

“We’re moving on in a different direction,” Hewitt said. “You guys want to keep on talking about Earl Thomas; I think we already addressed that.”

If Thomas was released outright, Baltimore would have taken a $15 million salary-cap hit this year and $10 million in 2021. By voiding his $10 million guaranteed salary for conduct detrimental to the team, he will count $5 million against the cap this season and $10 million next year.

Thomas posted an explanation for his behavior Friday on his Instagram account, but subsequently deleted it. The post said: “A mental error on my part .. A Busted coverage that I tried to explain calmly meet with built up aggression turned into me getting into with a teammate.”

He also wrote, “Being sent home sucks.”

Now, Thomas will have to stay at home until another team comes calling. The Dallas Cowboys are among those clubs rumored to be interested in the 31-year-old, who played nine seasons in Seattle before joining the Ravens in 2019.

His run in Seattle ended after he raised his middle finger toward Seahawks coach Pete Carroll while being carted off the field with a leg injury.

Thomas played in 15 games in his first season with Baltimore. He was selected to the Pro Bowl despite getting only two interceptions.

It’s been a tumultuous year for Thomas. His wife was arrested in April after police in Texas say she pointed a loaded gun at Thomas’ head after she found him in bed with another woman.

Browns add LB Smith

Thin and inexperienced at linebacker, the Cleveland Browns signed former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith.

Smith helped lead the Seattle Seahawks to an NFL title after the 2013 season, when he returned an interception for a touchdown, recovered a fumble and had 10 tackles in a 43-8 blowout of Denver.

The Browns needed help at linebacker after starter Mack Wilson hyperextended his left knee at practice this week. The second-year player from Alabama is expected to miss significant time and may need season-ending surgery.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Smith has appeared in 104 NFL regular-season games with Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco, Jacksonville and Dallas. He has 295 career tackles, 10 forced fumbles, six sacks, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.

Extra points

Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson has a hamstring injury that could hamper his chances to contend for the starting job. Rams coach Sean McVay announced the nature of Henderson’s injury a day after the running back was hurt during the team’s first scrimmage at new SoFi Stadium. Henderson’s injury is “mild,” according to McVay, but the second-year pro is likely to miss practices this week.

... Denver Broncos cornerback Michael Ojemudia (Farmington Hills Harrison) missed practice with a thigh injury and linebacker Justin Strnad left practice after hurting a wrist

... Arizona Cardinals signed veteran cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick to boost their secondary after a season-ending injury to Robert Alford (pectoral).

... Washington released wide receiver Cody Latimer amid legal issues before he practiced a single snap with the team. He was arrested in May and charged with a felony count of illegal discharge of a firearm