While Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas doesn't want to be traded, it might be out of his control.
"The reality of it is we're right now a 2-6 team and the trade deadline is coming up," Thomas said via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. "If you're a team that doesn't have a winning record I imagine it happens all the time where teams will call up your team and find out if you're available for a trade. It's happened in the past with me in my career. But it's out of my control.
"I want to be here. I want to finish my career here. I want to be part of the turnaround here. That's the way it is sometimes, you've got to control the things you can control."
"One high-level source with neither the Browns or Patriots guessed that Thomas could be sent to New England," Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio noted. "But that was an uninformed dart throw, not a statement reflecting any inside information."
Starting left tackle Nate Solder is on the injured reserve and back-up Marcus Cannon is dealing with a toe injury. Thomas would be able to slide in at left tackle, putting Sebastian Vollmer back on the right side.
Thomas would be under control through 2018, and would cost $9.3 million in 2016, and then $9.8 million in each of the next two seasons. He would cost roughly $4.4 million this season for the remainder of his contract this season.
There are a few glaring issues with making this trade happen.
1) The Browns would likely want a 1st round pick for Thomas. He has been named to the All Pro team every single season since his sophomore year in 2008 and the 31-year-old hasn't showed a shine of slowing down. The Patriots don't have a 1st round pick to give up.
2) The Patriots only have $2.9 million in cap space. While the Patriots could easily open up some space, the team would likely be reluctant to use up the rest of their cap freedom on one player.
3) What would the Patriots do moving forward after this season? The team has Vollmer and Cannon under contract through 2017, and Solder through 2018.
Ultimately this is just like the Calvin Johnson trade proposal for a 2nd round pick that surfaced a couple days ago. It's not founded in reality. The Patriots don't have the draft capital to give the Browns what they're looking for, nor would they likely be willing to part with a key player that could take the place of the draft pick.
It doesn't even make sense for why the Browns would be willing to part with Thomas. Browns right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is also a free agent after the season and center Alex Mack able to opt out of his contract after the year. If a team is trying to rebuild, they can't risk losing their only good pieces on offense.
The only way Thomas leaves will be if a team is able to make them a Godfather offer and that will never be the Patriots.