Joe Thomas Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation on Browns LT

Timothy RappFeatured Columnist

Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas stands on the sideline during an NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Browns, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Cleveland. The Steelers won 28-12. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

Cleveland Browns star offensive tackle Joe Thomas has been the subject of trade speculation throughout the 2016 offseason.

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Browns Contact Thomas Regarding Possible Trade

Thursday, April 28

The Browns have informed Thomas that they have "no plans" to trade him, per Tony Grossi of

Grossi noted on April 13 there is "nothing brewing" as far as Thomas being involved in a blockbuster trade during the NFL draft. 

Sashi Brown, the Browns' executive vice president of football operations, emphasized on March 21 that the team has no desire to trade Thomas.  

"That's not our plan at all," Brown told Grossi. "Our plan is not to trade Joe Thomas."

Nevertheless, buzz surrounding a potential trade for Thomas has remained high. Grossi himself said he felt the team would trade Thomas before or at the draft, per ESPN Cleveland.

Thomas Holds Immense Trade Value For Browns

As Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote on March 20, "There are plenty of execs who believe the Browns should and will explore moving veteran left tackle Thomas, one of the few valuable commodities they retain on a threadbare roster."

La Canfora also noted that while Thomas would never request a trade, he would absolutely be open to a move to a contender. And it would be a logical move from Cleveland's perspective, as the team is fairly obviously in a rebuilding mode and could likely garner a first-round pick for Thomas and clear the $30 million he's owed over the next three years.

As Pat McManamon wrote, "The strategy of the new to amass as many draft picks as possible."

Thomas, 31, has gone to nine Pro Bowls in his nine seasons in the league, establishing himself as one of the top left tackles in the NFL. He's not the type of talent teams like losing, but the Browns are currently without an established quarterback, elite offensive weapons, a solid offensive line outside of Thomas and a top-notch defense. 

The front office will never come out and say it wants to trade Thomas—that would kill its leverage—but it's hard to imagine that if the rest of the NFL knows Thomas is the team's most valuable commodity, the Browns don't know that as well. If the team is all-in on another rebuilding effort through the draft, trading Thomas for picks has to at least be an option. 


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