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Joe Thomas hopes he’s still a Brown when the Browns become competitive

Cleveland Browns' Joe Thomas admits it's funny to be a part of trade rumors every year but also acknowledges he'd like to win with his team before he retires.

Browns left tackle Joe Thomas has made it through 10 years of futility in Cleveland. Thomas hopes he’s still there when the payoff comes.

“Well, there’s definitely a concern there,” Thomas said on PFT Live regarding the possibility of the team breaking through once he’s no longer on it. “Obviously the approach that they’ve taken since Sashi Brown took over as sort of the G.M. and President has sort of been this long-term approach which, as a younger player, which a majority of our team is, they can obviously be really excited about it because we’re in excellent salary cap space. We’ve got tons and tons of draft picks every year. We’ve got the youngest team in the NFL. We’ve got all these rookies and second-year players playing. We’ve got I don’t know how many guys that can’t even drink a beer that are starting for us on Sunday which is really great for the future.

“We’ve got an exceptional coaching staff. I think Hue Jackson is one of the finest coaches in the NFL, and certainly one of the finest I’ve ever been around. So really the pieces are in place and now it’s just a matter [of] how quickly is this pot as it’s being stirred together going to mature into a team that we can take to the playoffs? Me as a guy in my eleventh year, the oldest guy on the team by a wide margin, I’m thinking, ‘Well hopefully this comes together sooner than later.’ Because I have a realistic understanding that I’m not gonna play forever. There is gonna be a time where I’m not gonna be around anymore and I wanna make sure that I can still be a member of this team once we do take this team to the playoffs and hopefully on that Super Bowl run.”

It may not be a matter of next year or the year after. Even with an 0-2 start, Thomas has plenty of faith in the 2017 Browns.

“Well, I definitely feel like this could be our year,” Thomas said. “I look at what we’re doing on defense, I think we’ve already got a really, really good defense and as soon as Myles Garrett comes back he’s gonna be a game changer and I think that he’ll be able to turn that defense up to a top five defense in the NFL. And I think what we’re doing on offense, we’re making tons of improvement. I think DeShone Kizer is gonna make incredible progress each and every week being that he is a rookie and he is such a young player but he is a really fast learner. So I see him combined with Hue Jackson on offense and I feel like this could definitely be our year.”

Of course, it also could be the year that the annual Joe Thomas Trade Rumors result in a deal.

“I’m surprised it hasn’t started already; I’m sure you’ve been stirring the pot a little bit,” Thomas said. “I look forward to that trade deadline every year because then I can stop answering the question about do you want to be traded or do you think you’re gonna get traded?”

It sure sounds like Thomas doesn’t want out. Any football fan should want to see a guy like Thomas finally get a chance at playing in the postseason.