Cleveland Browns star left tackle Joe Thomas is still mulling his playing future, but he endorsed the flurry of trades made by the team last week.
Brown, who has said he plans to make a decision by the March 14 deadline for the start of free agency, appeared on a podcast and offered no insight as to whether the four trades will affect his decision, per Cleveland.com.
However, ESPN reported that the 10-time Pro Bowl selection said via email that his “decision will be based purely on my health.”
The Browns brought in mobile quarterback Tyrod Taylor, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and cornerback Damarious Randall in a trading frenzy Friday. They followed that up by sending defensive tackle Danny Shelton to New England on Saturday.
Thomas, 33, called the addition of Taylor a “great trade” and likened the former Buffalo quarterback to Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks.
“I hate when people make comparisons, but with that being said, it’s time for a comparison,” Thomas said. “He reminds me a little bit of Russell Wilson, (who) throws an incredible deep ball, one of the best in the game. (Taylor can) operate an offense and run it efficiently, be able to make plays, extend plays with his feet, make a lot of great decisions when he’s in the pocket.”
Cleveland traded quarterback DeShone Kizer, who started 15 games as a rookie last season, to the Green Bay Packers in the deal for Randall. Thomas said by acquiring Taylor, the Browns avoided mortgaging the future to bring a Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum or Nick Foles.
Cleveland owns the Nos. 1 and 4 overall picks in the upcoming NFL Draft and Thomas dismissed the notion of trading both picks for a bigger-name quarterback.
“In this situation you’re able to get Tyrod Taylor for a third-round pick, not a huge contract,” said Thomas. “You give him this season and you can still draft a guy No. 1 if you want, you can draft a guy fourth. You don’t even have to draft a quarterback now high in the first round if you don’t love these guys and you can push that off to next year and see what you’ve got with Tyrod Taylor.”
Landry also gives Taylor one of the most reliable receivers in the game. He led the NFL last season with 112 catches and his 400 receptions are the most for any player in his first four NFL seasons.
“You pair (Landry) with Corey Coleman and then a deep threat like Josh Gordon, that offense all of a sudden got really much more dangerous,” said Thomas.
Randall, a former first-round pick of the Packers in 2015, has 10 interceptions in his first three seasons, including a career-best four in 2017.
“Bringing in a guy like Damarious Randall, who maybe had a little bit of a checkered past with some character problems, locker-room problems in Green Bay, (head coach) Hue (Jackson) is exactly the right coach to have to be able to help that player blossom into the type of player he can be based on his potential and the talent level,” said Thomas, who was attending his brother’s wedding this weekend.
Last season, Thomas suffered a season-ending torn triceps injury on Oct. 22 and failed to play 16 games for the first time in his career. Named to the All-Pro first team six times, Thomas has said he is not worried about the triceps tendon as much as nagging injuries to both his knee and back.