The Browns lost more of their core talents this offseason as a new front office attempts another reboot. Joe Thomas didn’t necessarily agree with the decisions to let some of those players go and mentioned previous front office’s apathy toward keeping past free agents as a reason for where the team resides today.
“That’s one of the frustrations that I’ve had over the years, and that’s the problem when you constantly are hitting the reset button is guys that are really good players like that end up falling through the cracks or going to other teams because any time a new staff comes in basically they wipe out the middle class,” Thomas said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “They keep a couple of your superstars and then they want everyone else being a rookie so that they can try to develop them.
“When you keep doing that over and over again, you really lose all your middle class on your team. So guys like Buster Skrine, Jabaal Sheard, D’Qwell Jackson, Jordan Cameron, Travis Benjamin … disappeared, even though those were the guys that you drafted them, spent the time developing them and right when they’re hitting stride in the peaks of their career, they end up going somewhere else and having great success.”
Thomas, who continues to be the subject of trade rumors, and Joe Haden remain two of the only long-tenured Browns. The franchise also let Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz walk this spring. Cleveland possesses an NFL-most $49.3MM in cap space.
Here’s the latest from the Browns’ AFC North rivals.
- Tyler Eifert suffered a separate setback from the ankle problem he’s dealt with for months, but the Pro Bowl tight end hasn’t given up on making his 2016 Bengals debut despite having encountered back trouble, Bob Holtzman of ESPN.com reports. However, Holtzman adds the tight end sitting Sunday against the Cowboys remains the most likely result.
- Safety Winston Guy worked out for the Ravens, joining wide receiver Kenny Bell, who was visiting, Field Yates of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). The Colts cut Guy last month.
- The Steelers gave Maurkice Pouncey reps at right tackle in practice, per Chris Bradford and Christopher Mueller of the Beaver County (Pa.) Times. Marcus Gilbert and swing man Ryan Harris are considered questionable for Sunday, leaving Chris Hubbard as the next in line and Pouncey as the in-case-of-emergency option. Pouncey has played guard in a game before but never tackle, although he nearly lined up there in a 2012 tilt against the Cowboys.
- Robert Griffin III will be evaluated to see if he needs surgery. The fifth-year quarterback remains unlikely to return until 2017, but that timeline isn’t certain yet.