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Earl Thomas is gone, so what now for the Seahawks, and how will he be remembered?

Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times on

Published in Football

Earl Thomas is officially gone, off to Baltimore to continue his NFL Hall of Fame career with the Ravens.

So what now for the Seahawks?

Glad you asked. Here are three questions left hanging in the wake of the departure of the last founding member of the Legion of Boom to play in a game for the Seahawks and our attempt at some answers.

WHO STEPS IN FOR THOMAS?

Thomas, remember, missed the last 12 games of last season after suffering a broken leg, so Seattle has pretty much already gotten used to life without Earl, something it has also been preparing for since the 2017 draft, when it selected three players who could play safety.

Seattle could still add a safety in free agency, but the Seahawks haven't made an addition yet despite knowing for months Thomas would not be back. That doesn't mean the Seahawks still couldn't -- there's a deep group of free agent safeties that remains such as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Tre Boston and Jimmie Ward. Seattle could be waiting things out hoping to pounce late and get a good bargain -- though if they really wanted to make a splash, maybe they could go get Eric Berry, who was released by the Chiefs on Wednesday just a few minutes after Baltimore announced Thomas' signing.

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But it won't be a surprise if any addition Seattle makes is more along the lines of the Maurice Alexander signing last year with the Seahawks appearing ready to go with the same trio that ended last season manning the two spots -- Bradley McDougald, Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill, the latter two 2017 draft picks selected with the idea that they would someday form a new version of the Legion of Boom, even if it can never truly be replicated.

McDougald and Thompson were the primary safety duo last season after Thomas went down, but McDougald and Hill started the last two games -- McDougald at free and Hill at strong -- and the Seahawks could go that route in 2019.

That McDougald can play either spot well means Seattle can pair him with whichever of Hill or Thompson it sees as better. Shalom Luani also remains on the roster and the Seahawks late last season also signed Marwin Evans, who played for Green Bay in 2016 and 2017. While adding someone at the spot could happen, the Seahawks could also view themselves as having a decent set of five with which to go into the season.

And while some might question how well the Seahawks played last year without Thomas (more on that below), the Seahawks have expressed confidence in Thompson and Hill at every turn.

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