The NFL owners meetings are currently taking place in Boca Raton, Florida. Cleveland Browns Executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown talked to the local media in attendance on Monday, and one of the things he talked about was LT Joe Thomas. Specifically, he re-iterated the point that the team does not plan to trade the future Hall of Famer.
#Browns Sashi Brown: "Our plan is not to trade Joe Thomas. He'll be our left tackle''— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 21, 2016
Back at the Senior Bowl, Brown echoed the same thing: the team had no plans of trading Thomas when the new league year began. We are now almost two weeks in to the new league year, and the team isn't budging from their original stance. The idea of Thomas being dealt has been brought up many times by the media, especially in light of the team purging their roster of talented free agents and a couple of veteran players. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote a whole article about trading Thomas on Sunday.
Former Browns CEO Joe Banner weighed in on the matter, saying that while trading Thomas seems to make sense if you are in a re-building mode, you'd also be doing damage to the person you hope to become your new franchise quarterback:
Thomas idea makes sense other than the rookie QB who could get killed. Hard to take a chance with QB of the future https://t.co/xW7EurvEOf— Joe Banner (@JoeBanner13) March 20, 2016
Even if a team is going through a re-building mode, you still need at least some stable players in order to let the players around them develop in a more healthy fashion. If Thomas is absent, that might kill the opportunity for a quarterback, an offensive guard next to him, or running backs to be able to show growth, for example. With Thomas in there, it might not always be pretty with the talent surrounding him, but at least you can better evaluate them.