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Report: Cleveland Browns Nearly Traded LT Joe Thomas to Denver Broncos

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns almost did the unthinkable -- trading LT Joe Thomas, a future Hall of Famer who has never missed a single snap -- to the Denver Broncos. We were waiting for the news all day, believing that surely, the Browns would not sell on such an elite player, especially after the terrible usage of first-round picks the team has had over the years.

With the deadline looming at 4:00 PM ET on Tuesday, at 3:51 PM ET, Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted the following:

That instantly rose the alert level for Cleveland fans, especially because head coach Mike Pettine was scheduled to speak with the media at 3:30 PM ET, but was late for his press conference. Then, at 3:59 PM ET, Dianna Russini of ESPN reported the following:

That's when panic ensued, including myself. I looked at the clock and shouted, "please god, let the deadline pass!" At 4:03 PM ET, Pettine emerged to the podium. As I braced for the doom-and-gloom news, Pettine said that it was his understanding that no moves were made. How do you not know definitively?

Schefter then tweeted at 4:07 PM ET that a deal didn't get done in time:

At 4:09 PM ET, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network said that it wasn't a matter of time, but of compensation. It's not clear if the Browns wanted more from the Broncos than what Russini tweeted earlier, or if the Broncos thought that was too steep:

As far as we know, Thomas is still safe and will remain a member of the Browns moving forward. Whew -- bullet dodged!