Browns executive VP Sashi Brown told reporters on Monday that they have no plans to trade LT Joe Thomas, despite reports and speculation that he could be made available.
“That’s not our plan at all,” Brown said, per Tony Grossi. “Our plan is not to trade Joe Thomas.”
La Canfora mentions that Thomas won’t demand a trade out of Cleveland, nor will he even request one. However, La Canfora’s source have indicated that he would be open to the idea of being traded to a contract at this point in him career.
All indications are that the Browns are preparing for a complete rebuild, and after losing C Alex Mack and RT Mitchell Schwartz in free agency, it would seem like they’d be open to adding more draft picks to build with.
La Canfora says that the belief with the Browns’ organization was that they’d make Thomas available for trade this offseason, but his sources have told him that owner Jimmy Haslam seems less interested in that move.
One team viewed as the most likely trade partner for Thomas, according to La Canfora, is the Seahawks, considering that they lost their LT Russell Okung to the Broncos in free agency.
La Canfora also considers if the Ravens, Vikings or Panthers could have some interest in him as well. However, there are some obstacles with these teams that could prevent a deal from being made.
The Browns were discussing a potential trade that would have sent Thomas to the Broncos in the days leading up to last year’s traded deadline. Although, the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on compensation and the deadline passed without a deal being completed.
Thomas, 31, is a former first-round pick of the Browns back in 2007. He’s entering the sixth-year of his eight-year, $92 million contract that included $44 million guaranteed.
Thomas stands to make base salaries of $8.3 million (2016), $8.8 million (2017) and $8.8 million (2018) over the remainder of the contract.
In 2015, Thomas appeared in all 16 games for the Browns and was rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 1 offensive tackle out of 77 qualifying players.