Browns HC Hue Jackson made it clear on Wednesday that they won’t fielding trade offers for LT Joe Thomas next year, despite the fact that he’s been a popular name in trade rumors over the past two years.
“That’s not happening (or) I’m going with him,” Jackson said, per Mary Kay Cabot.
Thomas recently made it clear that he wants to be back of the turnaround in Cleveland, so it appears as though both parties are on board with him finishing out his career with the Browns.
“I’m a Clevelander,” Thomas told Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN The Magazine. “I’ve spent the majority of my adult life here. Every day when I come to work, it’s ‘Let’s turn this team into a consistent winner.’ Because it would be such a special story. It would be like when the Cubs won the World Series. Everybody in the country has probably been cheering for them for so long because they’ve been suffering for so long. And you want to cheer for teams like the Browns.”
While Thomas could join a true contender and pursue a Super Bowl title, he says he’d prefer to do it in Cleveland.
“It’s so important for me to be here for the turnaround,” Thomas said. “I don’t want to just get a Super Bowl ring [by] being traded to a dream team. It would feel unsatisfying. Unfulfilling.”
The Browns did, however, nearly trade him to the Broncos last year and he was linked to several teams at this year’s trade deadline, despite no deal being reached.
Thomas, 31, is a former first-round pick of the Browns back in 2007. He’s currently in the sixth year of his eight-year, $92 million contract that included $44 million guaranteed and stands to make a base salary of $8.3 million for the 2016 season.
In 2016, Thomas has appeared in seven games for the Browns and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 5 offensive tackle out of 80 qualifying players.