Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported today that the Cleveland Browns may be looking to trade offensive linemen Joe Thomas and Alex Mack. Mack will be covered later, but right now, I will give you five landing spots for Thomas. Beforehand, let’s give some information on him.
Thomas was drafted in 2007, third overall by the Browns. He is been a pro bowler his entire eight year career and has started 134. He does have a hefty contract. Back in 2011 he signed a seven year, $80.5 Million contract. According to spotrac.com, he will earn a base salary of $8.8M this year, $8.3 next year, and $8.8M in 2017 and 2018 before hitting free agency in 2019. With that in mind, here we go.
The Panthers (6-0) are having a hell of a season. Not expected to make much noise, and after losing Kelvin Benjamin, they were pretty much written off. However, they are one of five undefeated teams and have been stellar on defense. The one problem may be whether or not MVP candidate Cam Newton can continue his game for the rest of the way. One way to help ensure he does is to add some help to the O-Line. Adding Thomas will allow Newton more time to decide to throw downfield or scramble and gain the yards himself. Thomas is also not a rental player. He, as aforementioned, is locked up until 2019. These are considered his prime years. It would be a steal for the Panthers, who would only need to give up a couple of picks
After their win on Sunday Night Football, Denver moves to 7-0 , the Broncos need traded for Vernon Davis today but also offensive line help for one, obvious reason. Peyton Manning is having the worst season of his career. The 39 year old future hall of fame quarterback leads the league in interceptions and some say the defense is the reason this team is undefeated. Add Thomas into the mix and Manning will have more time to look for the open man and better protection so some of pressure is off of him.
The Dolphins are not 6-0. As a matter of fact, they have a losing record. However, this team isn’t out of it. They have their problems on defense, but adding Thomas could take some of that pressure off of the defense. It would also allow Ryan Tannehill to go to work and do so at his own pace. With prized free agent acquisition Ndamukong Suh underperforming this season, the offense will need to step up. One of the best things you could do to help a QB is to give him protection, and that’s what Thomas would do.
New England Patriots:
The Pats are 7-0 after a Thursday Night Football win over the Dolphins. It may not seem like the need any help right now, and this is really a long shot landing spot. It is still plausible that Robert Kraft decides to make this move just to stack his team. Really no other reason to do this.
The Seahawks are also on the losing end of things, and they desperately need help. But this move could work both ways. If they aren’t contending this year, make the move and you’ve got him for next year. This would allow Russell Wilson to cut down on scrambling and stay in the pocket to look for his man. It would allow Marshawn Lynch and the other running backs more room to run. Seattle really makes sense and I doubt they would have a problem taking in the $8.8M to help this team for the next few years.