Earlier this month, Browns left tackle Joe Thomas — frustrated after his club fired head coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer — said he would wait to see who the team brought in as the pair’s replacements before making a decision on whether to seek a trade out of Cleveland. Speaking on WKYC on Saturday, Thomas appeared pleased with the Browns’ new direction.
“Certainly I love the people in Cleveland. It’s my home. I love the city. I love everything about it. So I definitely want to be part of the turnaround,” said Thomas, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal.
The Browns, of course, have made several staff and front office changes since the end of the regular season, hiring former Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson as head coach (Thomas reportedly called the selection of Jackson “pretty awesome”), promoting Sashi Brown to executive vice president of football operations, and bringing in former Mets executive Paul DePodesta as chief strategy officer.
At a press conference on Thursday, Brown told the media that he had met with Thomas, and insisted that the nine-year veteran “will be a big piece of what [the team] does moving forward,” an indication that the new regime wasn’t too keen on trading its franchise left tackle. Still, given that a potential deal that would have sent Thomas to the Broncos for a bevy of draft picks reportedly fell through at last year’s trade deadline, it was fair to wonder if the club might attempt to deal Thomas again.