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Ravens release Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas III for ‘personal conduct that has adversely affected’ team

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh would not expand on the release of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas from the team.

The Ravens announced Sunday that they have released Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas III for “personal conduct that has adversely affected” the team.

The decision comes two days after Thomas had an altercation in practice with fellow starting safety Chuck Clark and was told to leave the team facility and not return for practice Saturday.

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After Sunday’s practice, coach John Harbaugh declined to comment, referring only to the team’s message announcing Thomas’ release.

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

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By terminating Thomas’ contract, the Ravens will seek to recover the $10 million in guaranteed base salary owed to him this year. He signed a four-year, $55 million in contract in 2019, then the largest deal for a Ravens defender in franchise history. Thomas will likely file a grievance against the Ravens for voiding his guaranteed money.

He is free to sign with another team at 4:01 p.m.

“Appreciate the Ravens organizations for the opportunity. Had a great run,” Thomas wrote on Instagram after the announcement. “Wish things would have ended differently, but you live and you learn. Thank you Eric DeCosta and everyone else who has played a role in bringing me to B-More. Wish you guys the best.”

Thomas, 31, will leave Baltimore after a standout season in coverage but a checkered year in the locker room. The mercurial star did little to endear himself to fans, teammates or the front office, from confronting defensive tackle Brandon Williams after a Week 4 loss for not playing to not informing Ravens officials about an offseason incident in which his wife allegedly held him at gunpoint.

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With Thomas’ departure, the Ravens will likely turn to safety DeShon Elliott to pair with Clark in the team’s talented secondary. The 2018 sixth-round pick is well regarded in the Ravens’ locker room but has appeared in just six games over two injury-hampered seasons.

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