In a column for SI.com endorsing the team’s decision to retain head coach Hue Jackson, Browns left tackle Joe Thomas wrote that he thinks the team has a chance to make progress quickly because of their cap space and draft picks.
Thomas wrote the team could sign Kirk Cousins to play quarterback with some of that cap space and went a bit further during an appearance on ESPN Radio. Thomas was asked by Trey Wingo what he would do if he were General Manager John Dorsey and started by making Cousins his top target before revealing who he wants in the draft.
“We have $118 million in cap space. So we have plenty of money to do whatever we want,” Thomas said. “But I would actually sign Kirk Cousins and then I would use the first and fourth pick on the best players available. Probably [Penn State running back] Saquon Barkley and one of the defensive players. I’m not exactly sure where they go, where they rank all the quarterbacks. For me, I would rather sign Kirk Cousins because we have the money. Then you don’t have to trade a draft pick for Alex Smith.”
By mentioning Cousins and Smith, Thomas leaves little doubt about his feelings about experience and youth at the quarterback position. He isn’t the first veteran player from another team to express a desire to add Cousins in free agency, although it still remains to be seen if Cousins will be leaving Washington at all this offseason.
One potential wrench in any Cleveland plans would be Thomas deciding that he isn’t going to play in 2018. Thomas has yet to commit to playing and says his physical condition will be the deciding factor, although one imagines adding talent at both quarterback and running back would make a return a more appealing prospect.