“If y'all got the chance to come get me, come get me,” Thomas was heard saying to Garrett. Thomas would confirm that’s what he told Garrett.
“I went to the locker room to talk to [Dez] Bryant, and I saw Coach Garrett,” he said via ESPN. “I've always been a Cowboys fan growing up. But the biggest thing when I say 'Come get me' is, I don't literally mean like, 'Come get me now.' I'm still in the prime of my career. I still want to be here, but when Seattle kicks me to the curb, please — the Cowboys — come get me. That's the only place I would rather be if I get kicked to the curb. So that's what I meant by it. People take life too serious. That's just who I am.”
Thomas is from Texas, so you might understand why he grew up rooting for the Cowboys.
So ... this is tampering right?
Nope. The NFL defines the act of tampering as: “Any public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media.” There is also: “Any interference by a member club with the employer-employee relationship of another club or any attempt by a club to impermissibly induce a person to seek employment with that club or with the NFL.”
Thomas isn’t a player agent or representative; he’s just a player. Just because he expressed interest in the possibility in playing for his hometown team in the future (if his career even gets to the point where Seattle doesn’t want him) doesn’t mean that’s tampering.
He still likes being with the Seahawks
“I love being here,” he said when questioned about the postgame meeting with Garrett via ESPN. “This is where I started. I built my résumé here, and I've got Kam [Chancellor] and [Richard Sherman], [defensive coordinator Kris Richard]. I don't want to leave.”
Pete Carroll also understands the circumstances, and isn’t worried:
Pete Carroll said on @710ESPNSeattle he spoke with Earl Thomas after Thomas' comment to Jason Garrett. Says Thomas was talking about future, sounds worse on paper, and was concerned about Seahawks fans afterward: "I don't want to make them think I don't love being here."— Stacy Jo Rost (@StacyRost) December 26, 2017
When asked if he would like to start talking with the Seahawks about a new deal, Thomas said, “Yeah, that would be a great Christmas present.”
He couldn’t say whether or not he expected an extension to have happened by now. “I don't know,” he said. “I'm just going to keep balling, and hopefully they see the value.”