All that talk about Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas potentially wanting out of dodge can pretty much be thrown out the window.
Not that the team’s new front office, led by general manager Sashi Brown, decided not to move the future Hall of Fame tackle, he’s apparently happy with remaining on the only team he’s called home during an illustrious nine-year career.
“It wouldn’t have surprised me if I had been traded, but I’m happy that I didn’t,” Thomas said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “So it’s kind of a happy ending.”
No one really would have been surprised if the Browns had decided to move the nine-time Pro Bowl performer.
The organization went through wholesale changes following another last-place finish in the AFC North this past season.
Cleveland lost two of its best offensive linemen in Alex Mack and Mitchell Schwartz in free agency. It also lost top receiver Travis Benjamin to the San Diego Chargers in free agency.
On the defensive side of the ball, former Pro Bowl safeties Donte Whitner and Tashaun Gipson both departed through different means.
This doesn’t even take into account the addition of Robert Griffin III to compete for the team’s starting quarterback job as well as Cleveland’s 14 picks in this year’s NFL draft.
For Thomas, the excitement of this new era seems to be real.
“(Hue Jackson) brings a tremendous offensive mindset, a tremendous offensive playbook and I think he’s a great leader,” Thomas continued. “You put those things on a team and it’s only a matter of time before that team turns into a winner. Since I got here, my goal was always to turn the Browns into a winner consistently, and I think he’s just the man for that.”
It’s this type of positive attitude that has defined the Browns since Jackson took over and the team’s entire front office structure changed over the past several months.
While we don’t know if this will translate to immediate on-field success, it is nice to see a long-time Browns player show commitment to turning around what has been one of the most disastrous organizations in sports over the past decade-plus.
Thomas, 31, has three years remaining on the seven-year, $80.5 million contract he signed with the team back in 2011. Let’s just hope he finds a way to have some success before that contract comes to a conclusion. Thomas remains one of the best pure football players of the modern era.