Since the end of the regular season, he Browns have made major changes to the front office and coaching staff and those changes have led to a shift in thinking about left tackle Joe Thomas.
Thomas was nearly traded to the Broncos before the trading deadline, but remained in Cleveland and the new administration says there are no plans to deal Thomas this offseason. Thomas knows the right offer could change that thought, but plans to be in Cleveland and knows that he’d like to continue playing with center Alex Mack and right tackle Mitchell Schwarts.
Mack can opt out of his deal and Schwartz is set for unrestricted free agency, leading Thomas to say that losing them would mean a step back for Cleveland as a team.
“I understand from a business standpoint they need to move on if they get a better offer somewhere else. I certainly would understand it, but I definitely hope that they’re back,” Thomas said, via Cleveland.com. “I don’t know what the Browns’ perspective is on it. I feel like we have a lot of salary cap space to spend on it. … We have the best right tackle and the best center in the NFL and I’d certainly like to keep those guys. You’re not going to make your team better by getting a worse player at those positions.”
The flip side of that is that the Browns haven’t gotten any better by having the trio on their offensive line, so they might opt to try something different in roster construction as they have in putting together their new personnel department. Whatever their intentions, Mack and Schwartz should have plenty of other interest should they hit the open market next month.