The Cleveland Browns are reportedly willing to trade Joe Thomas for a second-round draft pick, according to unnamed sources in a Pro Football Talk report.
The Cleveland Browns are sitting at 0-7 on the season after Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL’s annual trading deadline is on the horizon.
So, naturally, it is the season for “reports” that the Browns are willing to trade away Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas.
The latest comes from Pro Football Talk, which reports that, “per a source with knowledge of the situation,” – unnamed, naturally – a trade is “possible” this year.
Of course, anything is “possible” when you think about it. The Browns could “possibly” win a game in the near future. They could also “possibly” make it through an entire game without losing a quarterback to injury.
So, sure, the Browns could “possibly” be willing to trade Thomas. There are a few problems with the idea, of course.
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First is the fact that the Browns have absolutely no viable option to replace Thomas in the lineup if they trade him. They are already having trouble replacing guard Joel Bitonio, who is out for the year with a foot injury.
And the center position continues to be a mess thanks to Cam Erving’s slow development and injury woes. And right tackle is not much better.
But, sure, the Browns could conceivably create another issue along the offensive line by trading Thomas.
The second problem is the idea that the Browns would take anything less than a first-round pick for Thomas.
The Minnesota Vikings have been linked to Thomas for a while, but they already traded away their first-round pick for quarterback Sam Bradford, so for them to swing a deal the Vikings would have to be willing to part with their 2018 first-round pick and the Browns would have to be willing to wait to be able to use it.
As for the other “contenders” as possible trade partners for Thomas – a group that reportedly includes the Arizona Cardinals, the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks – they all lack the necessary cap space to take on Thomas’ contract.
Finally, the Browns have repeatedly said they don’t want to trade Thomas and Thomas has repeatedly said he does not want to be traded. Until they prove otherwise, we have to at least give the Browns front office the benefit of the doubt on this one.
The fact that the unnamed source in the report threw out the idea that the Browns would be willing to take a second-round pick for Thomas increases the likelihood that the source is from another team rather than from the Browns. Again, Cleveland doesn’t have to do anything and there if a desperate team comes calling, there is no reason for the front office to do anything but hold out for a top offer.
The good part is that we only have to deal with these type of reports for another week or so. The bad news is that, when Thomas is still on the Browns roster after the trade deadline, we get to go through this all over again next season.
Oh the joy!