Joe Thomas on raise: “I think they realized it’s the right thing to do”

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No one has suffered more losing, more graciously, than Joe Thomas.

So when the Browns gave him a bump in future pay after his season-ending triceps injury, he said he thinks it sends a positive message for the future of the team.

The Browns had been talking about adjusting his deal before the injury, but tacked on an extra $3 million even though he won’t play another down for them this year.

“It’s just the way that the team shows their love and appreciation for you. In the NFL, how do you show love and appreciation for what your players are doing? You pay them,” Thomas said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “The conversation came up about two years ago actually. So they’ve been talking about giving me a market adjustment for my contract since I did sign it so long ago [in 2011] and since I’ve tried to go about my business as well as I possibly can, representing the organization, playing as well as I can, trying to be a team player, and they felt a market adjustment was not only good for me, of course, but good for them, good for their business, because when you reward players when you don’t have to, that sends a message to the locker room that says, “If you do the right things and you put yourself on the line for this team, we’ll reward you, even if you’re under contract.

“Because in the NFL, it’s a one-sided contract. When the team is ready to get rid of you, they just cut you if you’re not playing up to your contract. If you’re outplaying your contract, your only possibility of getting your raise or a market value adjustment is to either make a huge stink, demand a trade or hold out.

“I told them that’s not the type of person I am. So I think they realized it’s the right thing to do, and it sends a good message going forward to the rest of the players in the locker room.”

Of course, the Browns haven’t shown an ability to put enough people in that locker room to match Thomas’ level of consistent excellence, and continue to trip over their own feet. Last week’s bungled attempt to trade for A.J. McCarron was just the latest example, but Thomas has been around long enough to know what will make it better.

“In the NFL, winning cures all, and when you lose, it makes everything worse, and it magnifies all the little things that go on in every building,” Thomas said. “But you only make a big deal about it when the losing is attached to it. For us, it’s just a matter of turning things around and start getting some W’s. I don’t think it’s necessarily any big issue or any different than any other NFL front office. It’s just a matter of getting those wins.”

Thomas is a good solider, because the Browns have proven that their front office is different than many other front offices. But at least they recognized the goodwill potential of rewarding Thomas, and keeping him on their good side.

7 responses to “Joe Thomas on raise: “I think they realized it’s the right thing to do”

  1. “Because in the NFL, it’s a one-sided contract. When the team is ready to get rid of you, they just cut you if you’re not playing up to your contract. If you’re outplaying your contract, your only possibility of getting your raise or a market value adjustment is to either make a huge stink, demand a trade or hold out.”

    People, please read and re-read that statement. Many NFL fans continue to misunderstand the player:owner relationship.

    They are NOT employees. They are on contract.

    And for good reason it is lopsided contract (guaranteed contracts will be the final nail in the coffin Goodell & Co. have been fabricating for a decade now?) – giving owners the leverage to cut and move on from the player for basically any reason.

    THEREFORE players have very few choices in how to handle disagreements in their compensation, and Mr. Vanilla (Joe Thomas) details them:

    * Make a Huge Stink
    * Demand a Trade
    * Hold Out

    Stop getting so bent out of shape when a player takes such action.
    Odds are very high you’d end up making similar choices if you were wearing their shoes.

    …zero politics behind this comment – this is about business, something I’m sick of reading about and hearing about… all it does it demonstrate ignorance for the most part.

  2. Well paying him even though he’s not playing is a nice gesture… sure better than paying for the qb to play for Denver.. I realize they have the space but that’s just dumb…

  3. Joe Thomas seems like a good person. No disrespect to the Browns or Browns fans, but I wish they would really do him a favor here in the later part of his NFL career and trade him to a team where he might have a chance to win something before his time is done. Then again maybe he doesnt want that. Just a thought. I’d love to see him win.

  4. Can we stop talking about Joe Thomas like he is some kind of victim? He has had the privilege of playing the NFL for years and he is a millionaire. This “poor Joe Thomas” talk makes me sick.

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