A Review of Earl Thomas’ NFL Career and His Marital Woes With Wife Nina Heisser

Earl Thomas is a fine young man who dreamed of playing in the National Football League right from his childhood. Today, the athlete is living his childhood dream and he has managed to entrench his name in the history books. He has done so by being able to become a Super Bowl champion, garner seven Pro Bowl invites, and earn five All-Pro selections. The Texas native was further named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team, a clear indication that he is as talented as any other person that plays in his position.

Earl Thomas’ Early Years in Football

The highly decorated player began his football career while in high school. He attended the prestigious West Orange-Stark High School in Orange, Texas where he was a star for the school’s team. He played as a wide receiver, running back, and defensive back.

In his high school career, Earl Thomas recorded an impressive 2,140 receiving yards, 1,850 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns, 112 tackles with 11 interceptions. When he graduated in 2007, he ranked 12th on the list of top high school athletes, earning Rivals.com’s four-star recommendation.

The upcoming star proceeded to accept a scholarship to attend the University of Texas at Austin where he would play for the Texas Longhorns football team under coach Mack Brown. Earl redshirted his first year before making his debut for the team in 2008 as a safety. He started all 13 games in the season where he recorded an impressive 63 combined tackles and 17 pass breakups, an unprecedented achievement by a Longhorn freshman. He also had 2 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, and a blocked kick to earn multiple All-Freshman honors.

In 2009, Earl Thomas played a key role in his team remaining undefeated all through the regular season. The Longhorns went on to get all the way to the 2010 BCS National Championship Game where they were beaten by Alabama. After this year, Thomas announced his decision to forgo the rest of his college years and made himself available for the 2010 NFL Draft. He went on to attend the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis where he completed a majority of the drills before sustaining a hamstring injury.

Regardless of this, the Seattle Seahawks selected him in the first round of the draft with the 14th overall pick. Being only 20 years at the time, Earl Thomas became one of the youngest players ever drafted. He thus signed a five-year deal with the team.

His NFL Milestones and Achievements

At the beginning of his rookie season, Earl Thomas’s coach named him a starting free safety. The budding NFL star went on to start all 16 games of the season, recording 76 combined tackles, 5 interceptions, 7 pass deflections, and a forced fumble to help his team to a first-place finish in the NFC West. The athlete subsequently got his first taste of playoff football as the Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Wild Card Round before falling to the Chicago Bears in the NFC Divisional Round.

Thomas earned his first Pro Bowl selection and second-team All-Pro honors in the following year as he finished the season with 98 combined tackles, 7 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble in 16 games which he all started. The athlete kept up his performances in the following seasons, earning more Pro Bowl selections and All-Pro Team honors as his team won Super Bowl XLVIII in 2013.

Thanks to his contributions, the Seahawks rewarded Thomas with a mouthwatering contract extension before the start of the 2014 season. This proved to be a good motivation for the player as he was a pivotal part of the team that went all the way to the Super Bowl again. Earl recorded nine combined tackles but that was not enough to get his team victory as they were defeated by the New England Patriots.

A few weeks after losing the championship game, Earl Thomas underwent surgery to repair his separated shoulder. The player was, however, able to heal in time and return for the 2015 season where he started in all 16 games, recording 64 combined tackles, 9 pass deflections, 5 interceptions, and one forced fumble.

Injury Setbacks and Bouncebacks

The next year, Thomas sustained a number of injuries that hampered his performances and ended his season prematurely. In November, he suffered a hamstring injury in a match against the Philadelphia Eagles which forced him to abandon the game in the third quarter. He later broke his tibia in December after colliding with a teammate.

Thomas however, spent two more years with the Seahawks. Within this period, he suffered a broken bone in his left leg before joining the Baltimore Ravens in 2019.

How Earl Thomas Made His Money with Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks signed Earl Thomas on July 31, 2010, to a five-year contract of $18.30 million. The deal consisted of a $500,000 signing bonus and a guarantee of $11,750,000. In addition to a very successful rookie year, Thomas recorded outstanding performances for the rest of the five-year contract.

As earlier mentioned, Earl’s exceptional records earned him a four-year extension of $40 million with Seattle. The deal which he penned on April 28, 2014, included a $9.5 million signing bonus with $27.72 guaranteed. He earned an average annual salary of $10 million which included base salary, pro-rated bonus, roaster bonus, workout bonus, and guaranteed salary. 2014 turned out an interesting year for Thomas; in addition to helping the Seahawks finish top of the NFC, it was in the same year that he received his peak career salary (so far) of $14,225,000.

Thomas Earl’s stay with the Seattle Seahawks came to an end in September 2018. That was after he suffered a leg injury during a match against Arizona Cardinals which eventually became his last game for the club. In all, the talented safety earned a total base salary of $39,220,000, prorated bonus of $15,000,000, roaster bonus of $4,680,000, workout bonus of $300,000, and guaranteed salary $16,4209,000 during his time with the Seahawks.

Details of His Earnings from the Juicy but Short-lived Baltimore Ravens Contract

Thomas Earl joined Baltimore Ravens on free transfer in March 2019 following the end of his contract with the Seattle Seahawks. Upon recovery from his leg injury, he signed a four-year contract of $55 million with the Ravens which included a $32 million guarantee and an average salary of $13,750 million. The $32 million guaranteed bonus comprised a $20 million signing bonus and 2019 and 2020 base salaries of $2million and $10 million respectively.

Thomas during the Ravens’ Nov. 17, 2019 game against the Texans. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Nick Wass

Unfortunately, Thomas Earl could not finish his contract with the Ravens as he lost his slot with the club over personal misconduct. It happened that Thomas punched his fellow safety, Chuck Clark, during an argument that erupted while they trained on 21st August 2020. He was subsequently released on August 23, 2020. Owing to this abrupt termination, Thomas was only able to earn his 2019 $2 million base salary alongside a $5 million prorated bonus and a $2 million guaranteed salary.

Following his dismissal, the Ravens began attempts to use the loophole of his misconduct to invalidate Earl’s $10 million base salary which is guaranteed. Speculations are however rife that Thomas will file a grievance through the NFLPA to enforce the $10 million guarantee.

How Much Is Earl Thomas Worth Now?

For the ten seasons Thomas has spent so far with NFL, he garnered an estimated total career earnings of $81,200,000. His first contract with Seattle from 2010-20014 earned him $14,475,000. While his extension contract from 2015-2018 earned him $44,725,000. Earl Thomas was also able to earn $22,000,000 from his short-lived contract with The Ravens.

However, Earl has lost some money through series of fines. In 2010 during his college career, he paid a fine of $7,500 for taunting. While his team Seattle was playing against Dolphin in November 2012, he hit the head of Dolphin’s Tannehill which got him unconscious and he paid a fine of $15,000. Thomas conceded another fine of $24,309 for a late hit against Atlanta Falcons’ Levine Toilolo in November 2017. Yet again in October 2018, he paid a fine of $13,369 for flipping the bird to his team as he was carried off the field after fracturing his leg. He moreover, got another fine of $21,056 in October 2019 for a helmet-to-helmet hit with Steelers Rudolph, totaling his fines to $81,234.

Despite all odds, Thomas Earl’s earnings so far in his career have helped him to build a decent net worth that iscurrently  estimated at $26 million. As of 2021, he remains a free agent but chances are that he would soon find his feet in a club once again, considering his outstanding playing talents.

Below is a summary of his career earnings/salaries through the years:


Contract Duration

Club Total Contract Worth  Total Guaranteed Money Average Salary/annum Signing Bonus Total Est. Money Earned
2010-2015 Seattle Seahawks $18,300,000 $11,750,000 $3,660,000  $500,000 14,475,000
2014-2018 Seattle Seahawks $40,000,000 $25,725,000 $10,000,000 $9,500,000 44,725,000
2019-2020 Baltimore Ravens $55,000,000 $32,000,000 $13,750,000 $20,000,000 22,000,000
Total Career Earnings   81,200,000

A Closer Look at the Player’s Fallen-Apart Marriage with Nina Heisser

Image Source Thomas and Heisser

Nina Heisser and Earl Thomas went to the same high school and first met each other in a Spanish class after which they became friends. Thomas later proposed to Heisser in 2015, precisely on his annual youth camp event. She accepted the proposal and both of them lived together from then and subsequently tied the knot on April 26, 2016. The pair were so excited on their wedding day that Thomas wore a diamond crown on his head.

Earl Thomas’ Cheating Scandal

Unfortunately, Earl and Nina’s marriage which seems to have been going on well recently hit the rock. Nina caught her husband in bed with his brother sleeping with some women. Earlier in the day, the couple engaged in a heated argument about Earl’s too much consumption of alcohol after which he angrily left the house and called his brother Seth.

In a bid to know the whereabouts of her husband, Nina logged into his snapchat and saw a video of him and other women in a rented house. She called her sister and a friend and they were able to locate Thomas at about 1 am. Furious and disappointed, she pulled Earl’s gun and threatened him but he was able to take the gun away from her.

The police came around and met Nina running after Thomas in the car park with a knife while Thomas was holding the gun he took from his wife. Nina was arrested alongside her sister Kayla and her friend, Camisha Garlow who is also Earl’s brother’s ex-wife. However, they have been released on bail with a restraining order to steer clear of Thomas.

In November, after seven months of the incident, Nina filed a divorce citing adultery. She also cited that there is no reasonable expectation for reconciliation. One can expressly say that Earl Thomas had a bad year in 2020. Firstly, his club, The Ravens released him from his contract and secondly, his wife filing for divorce. Meanwhile, the estranged couple are yet to commence the divorce proceedings.

Thomas Earl’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Nina Heisser was born on October 9, 1989 in Orange, Texas. She is an American celebrity business woman. The beautiful woman also runs a clothing line business known as CAPTIVE. Nina Heisser completed her school from West Orange-Stark High School. She also graduated from Bellevue Community College in Washington with a bachelor’s degree. Nina’s estimated net worth stood at an estimated $9 million in 2020.

Meet Earl’s Kids with Nina

With Nina Heisser, Earl Thomas has three children; two girls and one boy. The couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Kaleigh a little over four years before they became officially married. That was on the 24th September, 2012. Kaleigh who was almost four at the time of her parents’ wedding, served as the flower girl on the occasion.

Image Source Earl and Nina with their three children

Thomas and Nina later welcomed their second child, another daughter named Kamila on November 21, 2017. On December 6, their youngest child, a son named Vee arrived. Pending their parents’ divorce, the three kids remain in the custody of their mother, Nina Heisser.

Chika Udeh
Chika holds a B.A in English language/History and has over 5 years experience in content development and journalism. She loves playing with writing, wordsmiths, and storytelling in all its forms, and when she is not writing about famous people and events that matter, she is probably listening or dancing to some cool jams.


Featured Today

Related Stories