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Joe Thomas “still working” through decision for playing in 2018

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 29: Tackle Joe Thomas #73 of the Cleveland Browns talks to his teammates prior to the start against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 29, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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The Browns are still waiting for word from left tackle Joe Thomas about his plans for the 2018 season, but it may not be much longer before he’s ready to let them know.

During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Thomas said that he is “still working” through the decision about returning for a 12th season in Cleveland. Thomas added that he has set the March 14 start of free agency as a moment when he’d like to have finished that work.

“I’d like to make a decision before free agency to give the Browns the best opportunity to prepare for everything that happens in the offseason,” Thomas said. “Whether I’m going to come back or retire, I think, from their perspective, having a certain need going into free agency is important.”

Thomas has said multiple times that his health is the key factor and he’s been at the team’s facility regularly so that he can rehab the tricep injury that put him on injured reserve for the first time in his career. Thomas said he’s had a chance to meet offensive coordinator Todd Haley and spend time with other coaches, but didn’t say if anyone has been pushing him particularly hard about coming back for another year in Cleveland.