Cleveland Browns: Appreciating the future Hall of Famer on the roster

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Browns fans are used to Joe Thomas’ great play no matter the team’s record, but his play should not be taken for granted.

With several NFL legends entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, Cleveland Browns fans remain hopeful a player will join the team and become one of the all-time greats.

Most fans want this to be a legendary quarterback who can lead the Browns to the pinnacle of sports and win a Super Bowl, but there is already an all-time great on the roster right now.

NFL Spin Zone published an article going through potential Hall of Famers currently playing for each NFL team, and the choice of Joe Thomas for the Browns was no surprise.

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He has made it to the Pro Bowl in each of his ten seasons, and has never missed a single snap. Considering how bad the team has been, the fact Thomas never took a play off is mind-boggling but also refreshing. When things are going bad, there needs to be a sense of professionalism and leadership from the best player on the team.

Thomas could retire today and be a lock for the Hall of Fame, being the first Browns player of the post-1999 era to be enshrined in Canton.

Having the left tackle be the best player on the team isn’t the most exciting thing for football fans, but it is perhaps the most important position on the entire field.

Browns fans have grown accustomed to knowing Thomas will play at a high level every single snap, but he is at the tail end of his career.

The team could part ways with Thomas after this season, or pick up his contract for 2018 before he becomes a free agent in 2019. But by then, retirement may be the likely route after years of punishment as a NFL offensive lineman.

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So as Thomas’ legendary career begins to reach its end, Browns fans should be sure to take some time to focus on Thomas during this season. And if one goes jersey shopping, a Thomas jersey is about the safest bet to make. Take it from me, the foolish owner of a Braylon Edwards jersey.