Browns need post-Joe Thomas plan “pretty soon down the line”

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Browns left tackle Joe Thomas raised the possibility that his playing days are over in November, citing his health as the determining factor in whether he decides to play a 12th NFL season.

Thomas tore his triceps last October, forcing him off the field for the first time since he entered the league, and is expected to be cleared for football activities in time for training camp. He also has knee and back issues and said this week that they are his bigger concern when it comes to continuing to play.

Thomas said that has him still going “back and forth” on a decision about next season. Whatever Thomas decides for the 2018 season, he’s advising the Browns to start thinking about life without him now.

“I told them I’ll make a decision when I’m ready and let them know and give them as much time as I possibly can,” Thomas said, via Ohio.com. “No matter what I decide to do this year, this is my last year on my contract in Cleveland. . . . I’m also 33 right now, so they need to be planning for somebody else pretty soon down the line, whether it’s this year or the following year.”

The Browns would surely like to know if Thomas is going to play before free agency and the draft because he’d leave a pretty big hole on the offensive line, but it sounds like addressing the spot one way or another would be a good idea in any circumstances.

20 responses to “Browns need post-Joe Thomas plan “pretty soon down the line”

  1. A very unselfish guy. He’s always been one of my favorites because of it. There’s no ego here. Clearly he’s thinking of his own health (as he should) but he is being considerate to the team.

  2. The Browns have #1 and #4. They are losing their 12 year left tackle, they DON’T need another QB to get trampled. They have no idea how good Kizer might be.

    Trade DOWN and stock the offensive line. Get a decent line to protect the QB and then you’ll see how good Kizer is or if you need to replace him – that’s at least a few years down the line.

    If they draft another QB it’ll be a good sign that they STILL don’t get it and the loyal, long-suffering fans of the Browns will have to suffer another year, and they have been in the NFL for almost 70 years – they deserve better.

    Thomas is a class act.

  3. If they win ONE game without him next year – They’ve improved!

    “I love it when a plan comes together.” – Col. Hannibal Smith

  4. My favorite memories of him will be him laughing at Colt McCoy before his first start and the next year pretending he didn’t see James Harrison concuss him, in general never once standing up for cheap shots on his teammates,back pedaling before the ball is even snapped,being a great technician a reluctant lousy leader who showed his teammates that showing up is 95% of the job and might even get you to the Hall of Fame.

  5. No offense, but I don’t think finding a post-Joe Thomas plan is necessarily a priority. LT is a very important position, but you can find a replacement in the draft. The way it’s looking for the Browns, they’ll have plenty of time to address it.

  6. Hey, I have an idea.
    Why don’t the Browns TRADE DOWN. Trade away their top picks for more draft picks, and fish for a QB in round 2, or go with Kizer.
    Use the basket of draft picks and get an Olineman.

    I smell 0-16

  7. Joe Thomas is an excellent player but if he retires it is not going to make that big of a difference on a team as bad as the Browns. So now they have 22 spots to fill instead of 21.

  8. To the poster who said that the Browns should see what they have in Kiser:

    He sucks. The path forward for the Browns is simple. Find a new head coach with a winning record. Draft a new left tackle. Draft wide receivers without character concerns. Draft a QB every year until you can find the right one.

  9. Browns line didn’t lose much production without Thomas so it honestly isn’t much of a priority. Either way I don’t see Thomas leaving the team even if he retires. He’s either becoming a coach (most likely since I believe they were letting him do that while he was injured) or will take an ambassador gig like Jim Brown, Bernie Kosar and Josh Cribbs has.

  10. You need a QB to win. When the Rams had HOF LT Orlando Pace, they were really bad but then were really good when they had Kurt Warner. Pace was outstanding the whole time. When the Browns finally do get a QB, that’s when Thomas will make a difference.

  11. The Browns need to forget about drafting a QB and sign FA QB Cousins or Alex Smith. Kizer can sit and learn. The Browns have enough draft picks and money for quality free agents to become an immediate playoff contender in 2018. No joke!

  12. The Browns have no idea what they are doing regardless of player status, position, current needs, future needs or much of anything else for that matter. It’s how they got to 0-16 in the first place. The fact remains that any team 100 million dollars UNDER the salary cap just isn’t trying very hard despite what their owner and management is saying.

  13. This isn’t as big a problem as the writer implies ….. Spencer Drango is not Joe Thomas, but he did a respectable job in filling in

  14. It’s pretty sad the Browns need a ‘heads up’ from Joe Thomas. I would think they should have already been planning on drafting interior lineman with the 1st 3 or 4 picks. BUILD the WALL and the rest will fall in place.

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