Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas will undoubtedly go down in the history books as one of the best tackles to ever play the game. After nine-straight Pro Bowl appearances to begin his career, it’s easy to why he’s so highly regarded.
Honestly at this point, when Thomas does decide to call it quits and hang up his cleats, it will only be a matter of time before Canton, Ohio and the Pro Football Hall of Fame come calling. That’s how good he has been throughout the first 10 seasons of his career.
So as I was shifting through all of the accomplishments this great player has had throughout his career, I came across one very startling realization.
Thomas has never played in the NFL playoffs.
Although I knew the Browns haven’t made playoffs in several years, the thought that Thomas, an all-time great tackle, has never been given the opportunity to play in the playoffs was very alarming.
What’s even worse is that if you remove his rookie season, a year that saw the Browns go 10-6 but miss the playoffs, Thomas has never even been on a winning team during his career. Cleveland has amazingly lost more than 10 games in 7 out his 9 seasons and has won more than five games just once since Thomas’ rookie year.
This year, the 10th season of his historic career, is certainly not going to be any different. At this point the Browns are 0-7 and would need to win out just to have a winning season. Even if that extremely unlikely scenario were to happen, they still probably wouldn’t even make the playoffs at 9-7.
So with that in mind, when reports surfaced earlier this week that the Browns would be willing to trade the offensive tackle this year to a contender, I was extremely happy for Thomas. He deserves a chance to win and a trade of the veteran makes complete sense for a young, rebuilding Browns franchise.
But as we’ve seen with the team before, they are illogical when it comes to their All-Pro lineman. Maybe it’s because he is the one top draft pick that actually did pan out after all the failures, or maybe it’s because he’s essentially their only valuable bargaining chip. Either way there’s just something that keeps Cleveland from being able to move Thomas.
The perfect example of this was last year.
During this same time of year, reports surfaced once again that the team was going to trade Thomas. A deal for him with the Denver Broncos was apparently in the works but the Browns were wavering over a late-round draft pick. As a result, the trade never went through.
Now once again in 2016, a trade is also apparently not going to happen.
“We are not going to trade Joe Thomas,” head coach Hue Jackson very deliberately said on Monday during his weekly press conference.
Ultimately Jackson’s announcement puts a very sad ending to the season for Thomas. Once again, for the ninth-straight year of his illustrious career, he will be sitting at home watching the NFL playoffs.
That being said, the Browns owe it to Joe Thomas to reconsider a trade.
Now I understand that Thomas is a great player and the Browns want him to help them turn the team around.
But with Thomas turning 32 this December, how many Pro Bowl caliber seasons does he really have left?
Here’s an even better question. At this moment, how many years away from competing is the Browns organization?
If the answer to that last question is more than a year or two away, than the Browns owe Thomas a trade so that he can actually have a chance to compete during the prime of his career.
And I don’t think the Browns will be in championship contention anytime soon, so the right thing to do this year is to trade the All-Pro tackle.