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Agent: Trade talks never addressed Joe Thomas contract

In response to a report from NFL Media that the Browns didn’t trade left tackle Joe Thomas to the Broncos because Thomas wanted guaranteed money in 2016 and 2017, the man responsible for the contract of Joe Thomas has gone on the record to strongly deny the suggestion that Thomas would be a Bronco if the Broncos were willing to ensure that he’d be paid all or part of his base salary for the next two years.

“There’s not one truth to it,” agent Peter Schaffer told PFT by phone on Sunday morning. “The deal just didn’t happen. [The teams] couldn’t agree to compensation. . . . The word ‘guarantee’ never came up. It never got to that point.”

Arguably, a guarantee of any future pay wouldn’t have been necessary. It’s unlikely that the Broncos would have given up a first-round pick and more for a guy they’d cut after only part of one season. Besides, if the Broncos did cut Thomas, he’d become a free agent, able to sign with anyone -- including the Browns. (So, basically, if a “guarantee” from the Broncos beyond 2015 would have gotten the deal done, the Broncos should have been willing to do it.)

Beyond the word “guarantee,” Schaffer says that there were no talks of any kind about the remaining three years of the contract, which pays Thomas $8.3 million in 2016, $8.8 million in 2017, and $8.8 million in 2018.

“I never asked for any re-do of the contract,” Schaffer said. “The Broncos never asked to do anything with the contract. We never asked for guaranteed money. The whole thing is made up.”

Schaffer offered this blanket assessment of the report, which included a claim that Thomas asked the Browns to explore trade options: “I can assure you 1 million percent that nothing [Rapoport is] saying is true.”

Schaffer pointed out that Rapoport didn’t contact Schaffer or Thomas for verification of the story.

“I wish that before people would put stories out they would try to confirm that there is some accuracy to it,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer added that there is no accuracy to the notion that Thomas wanted to leave Cleveland.

“Everything Joe said about wanting to be a Brown is 100 percent true,” Schaffer said. “It was when he said it and it still is today.”

All that matter is that Thomas is still is a Brown today. Whether the team keeps him for the next three years remains to be seen. For now, Schaffer insists that Thomas doesn’t want to leave, that Thomas didn’t want to leave, and that his potential departure didn’t hinge in any way on Thomas wanting guaranteed salary beyond the current season.