Peter Schaffer, the agent for Browns LT Joe Thomas, denied Ian Rapoport’s recent report that guaranteed money ultimately led to the trade with the Broncos breaking down.
“There’s not one truth to it,” Schaffer told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. “The deal just didn’t happen. [The teams] couldn’t agree to compensation. . . . The word ‘guarantee’ never came up. It never got to that point.”
“I never asked for any re-do of the contract,” Schaffer added. “The Broncos never asked to do anything with the contract. We never asked for guaranteed money. The whole thing is made up.”
Regarding the news that Thomas instructed Schaffer to explore trade options, the agent said: “I can assure you 1 million percent that nothing [Rapoport is] saying is true.”
“I wish that before people would put stories out they would try to confirm that there is some accuracy to it,” Schaffer said. “…Everything Joe said about wanting to be a Brown is 100 percent true. It was when he said it and it still is today.”
Rapoport adds that Thomas has strong feelings for the Browns, but this goes against what he told reporters when reports of trade interest first surfaced.
“Certainly I would have been really crushed being traded and leaving all these guys that you work so hard with and all these coaches and the people that are in this building and these fans,” Thomas said after the trade deadline passed. “It wasn’t until after the deadline that I realized that it was more serious than maybe just a rumor. At that point it was like, ‘Oh, interesting.’”
Thomas also said: “I’m not a quitter. I’m not a guy that gives up on my goals and my goal from day one was to be part of the turnaround here and that hasn’t changed.”
According to Rapoport, the deal with the Broncos broke down because Thomas and his agents wanted Denver to guarantee money in 2016 and 2017 as part of the trade.
Others had said that draft compensation was the hang up in the trade, so this is the first we’ve seen regarding Thomas’ wanting guaranteed money in the deal.
Thomas, 30, has been a Hall-of-Fame caliber offensive tackle since the Browns drafted him. He still has another four years remaining on his eight-year, $92 million contract that included $44 million guaranteed.
Thomas stands to make base salaries of $8.8 million (2015), $8.3 million (2016), and $8.8 million (2017-2018)
This season, Thomas has appeared in all eight games for the Browns and is currently rated by Pro Football Focus as the No. 2 offensive tackle out of 78 qualifying players.