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Joe Thomas says he wants to be a part of the Browns’ rebuild

Ron Schwane / AP Photo

Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas may have been part of trade speculation in 2015, and mentioned that he is unsure about his future with the Browns following the 2015-16 regular season, but things have seemed to change since the team hired the offensive-minded Hue Jackson to be its next head coach. While talking to WKYC’s Dave Chudowsky at the IX Center’s NARI Home Show over the weekend, the future Hall of Famer made it known that getting a guy like Jackson as head coach is “awesome for the Browns” and that he definitely wants to be part of the rebuild that will (again) happen in Cleveland.

“Certainly, I love the people in Cleveland. It’s my home. I love the city. I love everything about it,” he told Chudowsky. “So I definitely want to be part of the turnaround.”

Getting the approval of a nine-time Pro Bowler is certainly a positive for the Browns, especially from a guy like Thomas who has been through so many different offenses and so many different regimes in Cleveland yet wants to be a Brown. New Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown also put an end to the Thomas trade rumors in an interview with ESPN 850-WKNR over the weekend. Said the new front office head of the Thomas trade discussions, “That’s nothing that we’re thinking about here. We expect Joe to be back and be a big piece of what we’re doing.”

The reassuring news brought a smile to Thomas, who has been in Cleveland since he was drafted by the Browns with the third overall selection in 2007.

“I almost got traded last year during the season, but that’s something that as a player you can’t really worry about too much,” Thomas said.

Brown made sure to mention how important Thomas is for the future of this team. Not only is he a veteran that can lead the young players, but the Wisconsin graduate is one of the best left tackles in NFL history.

“He’s a guy that’s going to be a big piece of what we do moving forward. He has a tremendous amount of insight that we will glean from,” Brown said.

While the Browns may have had the worst record (tied with Tennessee) in 2015-16, at least they now know that their Pro Bowl left tackle wants to be part of the turnaround that will (hopefully) happen in the near future.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Joe clearly had time to decompress and maybe go ice fishing. Clearly this is good news. Browns need him back. Maybe he can help convince his fellow offensive lineman to stay as well. Mack is a long shot but they need to keep Schwartz.

  • RGB

    Sashi and DePodesta are still evaluating. As soon as they finish inputing all the data, they’ll be able to produce model they trust to analyze whether or not they attempt to replace him with a package of resources.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    This team already has enough holes to fill if they lose Thomas (it was never going to happen unless he retired and he’s not that close yet) on top of Mack and Schwartz that’s a nightmare. I don’t need a statistical model to tell me I just need my two peepers!

  • RGB
  • saggy

    Jeepers, Creepers.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Clearly from the way that kid wears his hat he’s a thug!

  • jamierules

    This is no surprise to me. Joe Thomas has a pretty sweet gig. Why would he leave? He pretty much has carte blanche with this organization. He’s a fan favorite, pro bowler every year, and lock for the hall of fame. He plays 16 games a year, no more, no less. Then he has an entire offseason to fish, drink beers, and farm his land or whatever. Even when mandatory training camp begins, he gets 1-2 days off per week.

    He might be past his prime, but he still appears to have a lot of tread left on his tires. Perhaps in 2-4 years when the Browns are going through another coaching change, he’ll get traded to a contender to finish out his career.

  • tigersbrowns2

    it’s simple … if he wants to stay , you keep him. one less hole to fill. it will be interesting to see if mack , schwartz , benjamin & gipson want to stay … or if the new brass even wants to keep them.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi JOSH … dave chudowsky was a former Toledo sports anchor , as were michael reghi & ryan burr (espn) … chudowsky was well-liked here in Toledo.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi TRS … it would be nice to keep mack & schwartz as well & not have to worry about the O-line. austin pasztor is also a fee-agent … he looked pretty good to me , filling-in for bitonio at LG the last few games … is he worth keeping ?

  • Pat Leonard

    I think *knock on wood* it’s going to be a slow regression for Thomas similar to Bruce Matthews. I suspect he’ll still be an above-average left tackle even 4-5 years from now.

  • Pat Leonard

    I love that we are in a place where we can honestly say this about Schwartz. This past year he showed that he is truly an offensive lineman we want to keep around Cleveland for a while.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    A bad team MUST keep what little talent is has otherwise the improvement will take that much longer. I want to trade Haden though. I’ve grown tired of him.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I don’t know about Pasztor could be a product of being between Thomas and Mack. I just know I’m terrified at the prospects of Erving at center next year. Mack I can’t see coming back which means keeping Schwartz should be a top priority.

  • jpftribe

    Unless Joe retires, he is under contract and cannot go anywhere. He cannot demand a trade. All he can do is walk away from the NFL and his salary. It’s Mack and Schwartz that have options, and the lack of any news around those is conspicuous.