For the last decade, there’s one Cleveland Brown you know was always going to be a challenge, even if the team around him wasn’t. Today, that man is expected to announce his retirement. Left tackle Joe Thomas is expected to walk away from the game after a Hall of Fame career. The news was first broken by Mary Kay Cabot.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) March 14, 2018
The report was quickly confirmed by Adam Schefter. The team made the move official moments ago.
.@joethomas73 is calling it a career.
See you in Canton, Joe.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) March 14, 2018
Thomas, drafted third overall by the Browns in 2007, was a ten-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro. He was known for remarkable durability, playing over 10,000 consecutive snaps before having his season cut short in 2017. Arguably the best pass protector of his era, this stat sums up how insanely good he was.
Joe Thomas gave up 30 sacks in his 11-year career (6,680 pass-block snaps).
His replacement, Spencer Drango, allowed 11 sacks in 11 games#Browns
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) March 14, 2018
Thomas is a surefire, first ballot Hall of Famer five years from now. And he gave plenty of Steelers fits twice a year. Now, the Browns will look to replace him. Chris Hubbard could conceivably play on the blindside, but it seems like he was brought in to fill the right tackle spot. With Nate Solder off the market, Cleveland will likely try to address the position in the draft, though this is a weak tackle class.