Why I Feel Bad for Joe Thomas.
The 10-time Pro-Bowl offensive tackle was drafted by Cleveland in the 2007 NFL draft out of the University of Wisconsin. Thomas has started every game for the Browns since his rookie year 10 years ago.
During his tenure in Cleveland, Thomas has never sniffed the playoffs. The poor guy has only experienced one winning season, which was his rookie year when the Browns went 10–6, just barely missing the playoffs. A crazy statistic for Thomas: he’s the only player remaining from his rookie season roster.
The 32 year old has protected 19 different quarterbacks for the Browns, and that’s just starters. Counting backups who came in to finish a game, there isn’t enough fingers and toes in the world to count that number. Thomas was on the Dan Patrick show last week and revealed that he once introduced himself to his quarterback in the huddle because he didn’t know who he was. The quarterback was Josh Johnson who was backing up Thad Lewis, who is just as forgettable as every Browns quarterback.
Despite the drought of quarterbacks and wins, Thomas is arguably the best offensive tackle in the National Football League. He has a huge list of accomplishments. He is the first offensive-lineman to make the Pro Bowl in each of his 10 seasons, the fifth all-time to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first 10 seasons, the Brown’s all-time leader in Pro Bowl selections with 10, and has played every offensive snap for the Browns since week 1 in 2007, eclipsing 10,000 consecutive snaps two weeks ago against the Ravens, the longest in NFL history.
There is no questioning Thomas’ loyalty. In 2011, he had the chance to leave the train-wreck of a franchise, but instead signed a 7 year contract extension with an $80.5 million base-salary. Despite having insane loyalty to Cleveland and being a major asset to their offensive-line, they are always trying to trade him.
In 2015, Thomas was nearly sent to the Denver Broncos. Denver would be perfect for Thomas. They make the playoffs nearly every year and play in arguably the toughest division in the NFL. The left tackle is so elite, he could easily make the Denver defensive line and linebackers so much better. In Denver’s defense, the two first-round picks that Cleveland wanted were too much of an asking price. At the end of the 2015 season, Denver would be doing almost a complete overhaul of their offense, particularly at quarterback since they had an assumption that Peyton Manning would retire after Super Bowl 50 (which he did).
Thomas is arguably the greatest left tackle in NFL history. In his 11 seasons, Thomas has only allowed 38 sacks to Cleveland’s quarterbacks. That’s a little under 3.5 every season.
I feel terrible for the guy. He’s a huge contributor to Cleveland and they dont even acknowledge him.
Joe Thomas is a great person and is an even better football player. If he wants to win games, get to the playoffs, or even win a Super Bowl, Cleveland is not a favorable option. Whether he gets out of The Land or not, five years after he retires, there’s no doubt that Joe Thomas will forever be enshrined in Canton, Ohio.