Inside the Earl Thomas-Ravens divorce and what’s next for both sides


The facts: On Friday at Ravens practice, starting strong safety Chuck Clark and free safety Earl Thomas had to be separated by teammates and coaches, per Jamison Hensley of It lasted a while, and they kept trying to get at each other, and a helmet was thrown, and Clark was kicked out of practice with 10 minutes left. Now, training-camp fights are not that strange; they happen every week. I’ve seen a lot of them over the years. Can’t say I’ve seen many fights between two players from the same position group, never mind two starters at the interchangeable safety positions. In fact, I do not recall seeing two players from the same position get into it in camp. It’s potentially cancerous for two guys who have to sit in the same meetings every day. The Ravens, after considering it for the next 36 hours (and after consulting with the team’s veteran players council), fired Thomas on Sunday morning.

So in the span of 23 months, one of the best safeties of his era, a man who will one day get serious consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, has been involved in three untoward incidents. After breaking his leg as a Seattle safety in 2018 in Dallas, he gave Seahawks coach Pete Carroll the finger as he left the field, apparently upset that the team wouldn’t give him a new contract. Last April, his wife was arrested for assault in Texas; TMZ reported she found Earl and his brother in bed with another woman and threatened to shoot Earl in the head. And now the altercation on the Ravens’ practice field with a fellow leader in the secondary.

A few things to know about the Thomas release:

• He was not well-liked by his teammates. He had a pattern of being late, and in a recent practice, he made multiple assignment errors, causing defensive teammates to confront him about his preparedness. He missed at least one walk-through with no valid excuse. When the incident at Friday’s practice happened, very few if any teammates came to his defense. Teammates backed Clark, the significantly lesser name.

• The money will hurt Baltimore—a $15-million cap charge this year and $10 million next year for Thomas to not play for them, unless they win a grievance to get some of the money back.

• The grievance process will be fascinating. The union represents Thomas, but also Chuck Clark—and also the rest of the Ravens who are not on Thomas’ side. What if more comes out about this dispute that shows Clark to clearly be the aggrieved victim, for instance? Can the NFLPA stand up for both Thomas and his apparent sworn enemy? This will be a fascinating case to follow.

For the Seahawks and Ravens to both cut ties with Thomas is notable in the first place. Seattle in noteworthy for looking the other way on problem players. Baltimore less so—but it’s notable that these two teams have been sniffing around problematic free-agent receiver Antonio Brown. In both places, if you can play, you can survive the messes you make. Without question, if this was a one-time event in Baltimore, it’s likely Ravens coach John Harbaugh and GM Eric DeCosta could have dismissed this as a heat-of-battle thing, moved on and made peace. The fact that Thomas got fired Sunday, when he’s still playing top-level safety and the Ravens are serious Super Bowl contenders, says everything you need to know: Thomas was a problem and the Ravens just got tired of it.

Finally, what do these four men have in common: Harbaugh, DeCosta, Carroll and Seattle GM John Schneider? They’re four people at the top of their professions. Schneider and DeCosta are top 10 NFL GMs, Harbaugh and Carroll top 10 NFL coaches. Answer: All four were part of decisions that ridded teams of Earl Thomas.

Could all four be wrong? Doubt it sincerely. Thomas is a great player, and he’ll likely get another chance, soon. (Dallas is interested, per Adam Schefter.) But Baltimore wanted Thomas gone so much that the Ravens were willing to take a disastrous $15-million cap hit by doing it now. Buyer beware with Thomas.

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here.

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!