Can Paul Kruger and Joe Thomas Co-Exist in Cleveland?

Joe Thomas has good acting chops, too. Will Paul Kruger mind? - Mike Ehrmann

The Cleveland Browns' big start to free agency involved the team signing Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger to a 5-year deal worth $41 million.

Ultimately, the move could have a big payoff, but some will criticize the move because of the risk: Kruger really only had one big year in 2012, and most of his production came after LB Terrell Suggs returned to the lineup. However, there might be another issue that general manager Michael Lombardi and company needed to consider: can Kruger co-exist with left tackle Joe Thomas as teammates? After all, this happened when the two teams met last season:

The situation took place in Week 4 last season on Thursday Night Football. The Browns needed a score to tie the Ravens, and Brandon Weeden got some big completions to march down the field. With little left to play, Weeden's fourth-down attempt to the end zone came up short. Game over, right? Nope. As Thomas was watching the end of the fourth down play, Kruger decided to level him, and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, thanks to Thomas selling the flop beautifully.

After the game, Kruger told the Baltimore Sun that Thomas flopped. As far as I know, there was no retort from Thomas.

"I was just getting held pretty bad," Kruger said. "I threw my hands at him to get him off me and he flopped pretty bad. Unfortunately, they called it. I wish I was that strong. I would be doing that every play. Yeah, he just flopped pretty bad."

Can the two co-exist? Of course they can. If they even remember this play, I'm sure they can even have a good laugh about it...until they re-ignite their rivalry when they line up against each other in training camp.

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