Earl Thomas and Le’Veon Bell are leading the way in how NFL players fight for their salaries

Article by Natalie Weiner, via SB Nation

UpdateThe worst case scenario happened for Thomas. He broke his leg on Sunday in a game against the Cardinals, ending his season. As he left the game on a cart, he flipped off the Seahawks sideline. He wanted to make sure his “body was 100” before he reaches free agency this spring. Now, it remains to be seen where his body will be when March rolls around.

“There’s the business side and the ball side,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said when asked about Earl Thomas’ “hold in” — his decision to skip practice because he wants a new contract — during his weekly interview with the local ESPN affiliate. “We’re trying to figure out what’s best.”

For Carroll, and members of the Seahawks front office, that binary view of roster construction might be accurate. There’s the “business side” — the question of budgeting (someone else’s) money — and there’s the “ball side”: wins, and eventually higher profits as a result. From behind their ledger, “business decisions” about which players to sign and cut look relatively black and white. The cost is money, and the benefit is a skilled body.

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