We’ve consistently heard Joe Thomas does not want to leave Cleveland despite the Browns being the league’s only winless team. The perennial All-Pro left tackle elaborated on that stance today and indeed did confirm he does want to compete in a playoff game at some point in his career, willingness to play through the Browns’ latest rebuild notwithstanding.
“When I first got here, my goal and my mission is kind of always to make the playoffs and to help be part of turning the Browns into a consistent winner and kind of turning the franchise’s fortunes around,” Thomas said, via Dan Labbe of cleveland.com. “We haven’t done that yet, so to me that means that my mission is not yet complete here.”
With the Browns as far away from such a turnaround as at any point in the decorated blocker’s 10-year career, it doesn’t seem the back end of his prime and a Cleveland playoff berth will line up. GMs also believe the Browns will backtrack on their firm stance of keeping the 31-year-old future Hall of Famer in northeast Ohio.
Here’s more from the Browns as their downtown counterparts look set to see the Cubs tie the World Series at 1 game apiece.
- Thomas and Joe Staley have been reported to be thrust onto the trade block, and OverTheCap’s Jason Fitzgerald takes look at the tackles’ markets. He notes a team would owe Thomas more than $24MM through 2018, while Staley would cost less than $18MM, potentially narrowing the talent gap between them and explaining the 49ers’ demand for a first-round pick and the Browns’ willingness for a second. A team trading for the 31-year-old Thomas would owe the six-time All-Pro (the 32-year-old Staley has no All-Pro honors) $4.882MM if it executed a trade before Week 8.
- Another name to possibly keep an eye on in prospective Browns trade talks is Joe Haden, Pat McManamon of ESPN.com writes. While Thomas has drawn the most trade interest of Browns players the past two seasons, Haden also qualifies as a veteran on a rebuilding team full of younger talent. The second-longest-tenured Brown behind Thomas, Haden doesn’t have a deal as trade-friendly as Thomas’. The 27-year-old corner has $6.8MM worth of guaranteed money left on his contract, one that runs throuugh 2019, and stands to take up $14MM of a team’s cap in 2017 and ’18. McManamon cites Haden’s injury history, having missed three games already this season for finger and groin maladies on top of a 2015 season plagued by ailments, as a reason the Browns would want to seek out a return for their top defender.
- Corey Coleman returned to practice today for the first time since breaking his hand Sept. 21, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports. The first-round rookie ran routes but didn’t catch any passes, and Cabot puts Coleman’s timetable in line with a Week 9 or Week 10 return.
- After missing Sunday’s second half due to an unspecified illness, Cameron Erving returned to practice today and is expected to start when the Browns host the Jets this weekend, Cabot reports. The second-year center suffered a bruised lung earlier this season, his first as a full-time starter.
- Josh McCown looks like he’s going to return to the Browns’ lineup behind Erving, barring a setback.