With the Nov. 1 trade deadline approaching, Browns left tackle Joe Thomas seems like a logical target for contending teams in need of offensive line help. However, Thomas wants to remain with the Browns and will not request a trade, a source close to the nine-time Pro Bowler told Pat McManamon of ESPN.com.
As of two weeks ago, rival clubs were determining what it would take for the Browns to deal the 31-year-old Thomas. Cleveland’s new regime has been reluctant to move him — and Thomas himself didn’t request a trade over the offseason — but considering the Browns’ 0-5 start, it’s possible a trade could materialize.
Thomas nearly became a Bronco at last year’s deadline, but the Browns turned down an offer of edge rusher Shane Ray and a second-round pick, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. Other reports at last year’s deadline indicated that Denver was willing to ship a first- and second-rounder to Cleveland for Thomas and a fourth-rounder.
If Thomas ends up on the move this year, an acquiring team would be on the hook for the cap charges remaining on the seven-year, $84MM extension he signed in 2011. Thomas has a $9.5MM cap number for this year and a $10MM figure in each of the next two seasons, though there’s no dead money left on his deal.
Thomas, whom the Browns chose third overall in the 2007 draft, has been the franchise’s only consistent bright spot since his NFL career began. The former Wisconsin Badger has appeared in 149 straight games, all starts, but he has never played in a postseason contest. A trade could give him that opportunity, but if the future Hall of Famer has it his way, he’ll stay put.
Dallas Robinson contributed to this report. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.