At 0-7, the Cleveland Browns season looks to be all but lost, and it’s why one of their top players is, again, rumored to being on the trade block.
Joe Thomas has played his entire career with the Browns and unfortunately for him, he’s seen a lot of losing over the course of his tenure. He’s seen a lot of teammates come and go and because of the Browns woes over the years, he’s seen more head coaches, general managers and quarterbacks be welcomed and depart just as fast as they got there. And with the 0-7 start in the 2016 season, it’s not getting any better for the 31-year-old veteran left tackle, whose enduring what will likely be another losing season.
So with the Browns reportedly taking trade calls for their All-Pro tackle, the New York Giants are one of a couple of teams who are interested in Thomas’ services, as the Giants have been interested in making additions to the offensive line dating back to the off-season.
With Thomas, he’s got some age, but his production has yet to slow down considering he’s still one of the best left tackles in the sport and because he is still playing at a top level, why his name continues to be centered around trade talks.
The Giants offensive line has been shaky at best in 2016, as Ereck Flowers has had his struggles on the left side and some wonder if he’s better suited to play as the right tackle as opposed to the left and protect Eli Manning’s blindside. Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg have been the anchors on the line for the Giants. John Jerry has been up and down, and Bobby Hart is continuing to learn on the job, but is not considered to be on the level of Flowers and especially not Thomas.
The Browns are reportedly asking for a second round pick and Thomas’ remaining salary. $8.3 million for the 2016 season, $8.8 million for the 2017 season and $8.8 million for the 2018 season, which for Thomas, is a reasonable contract for an All-Pro left tackle who can anchor an entire offensive line and quite frankly, give a line the jolt it needs.
If it’s a second round pick that it will take for the Giants to make this trade, it’s one they should strong consider, as it will further protect their franchise quarterback in Manning with him getting up in age and allow him to stay upright and find his receivers down the field for big plays.
It would also allow the Giants the chance to potentially move Flowers from the left side to the right side for the time being and allow Thomas to mentor and teach Flowers the trade of being a left tackle and how to improve his game.
During the off-season, the Giants tried to get a tackle but were unsuccessful because they couldn’t convince guys like Donald Penn or Russell Okung to change from being a left tackle to a right tackle. In fact, the Giants even tried to trade for Eugene Monroe and nearly had a deal in place, but Monroe decided to retire and chose not to play for the Giants because of his unwillingness to move from the left side to the right side. This caused the Giants to stick with Flowers over on the left side and initially, Marshall Newhouse before he was injured and cleared the way for Hart.
The Giants have made sound investments over the last couple of years in upgrading their offensive line for the present and future with the early round draft picks of Pugh, Richburg, and Flowers. Now it’s time for the Giants to strongly consider making a bold move to upgrade the line for the present and land Thomas.