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Joe Thomas wishes Tom Brady had kept fighting

Cleveland Browns v Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 18: Offensive tackle Joe Thomas #73 of the Cleveland Browns during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Browns 20-17 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Due to his looming suspension, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s first game of the year will come against the Browns. Joe Thomas of the Browns wishes that Brady would be showing for the game not as rusty.

I was disappointed that he didn’t keep appealing, from a player’s standpoint,” Thomas said Saturday, via the Associated Press. "[I]t kind of gives the Commissioner a little bit more power that maybe was not necessarily already negotiated or settled.”

The appeal Thomas wants to see could still come. Brady opted not to fight the suspension any longer, but he has authorized the NFL Players Association to continue the fight with an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. For Brady, it’s only $235,000 in lost salary that he’d recover. For all players, any effort to reduce the Commissioner’s powers through litigation is useful. If successful, it means that the NFLPA will have to surrender less at the bargaining table to push the Commissioner’s remaining authority over player discipline to neutral arbitration.

Thomas seems to realize that could be coming -- and he clearly wants it to.

“I guess maybe the NFLPA might sue on his behalf down the line to try to balance the commissioner’s powers, so I’m not sure,” Thomas said.

All players should want it to happen. There’s nothing to lose at this point, and plenty to gain. Thanks to the schedule, the Browns gain nothing by the Brady suspension.

“I was hoping he would appeal for like one game,” Thomas said, joking. “So he would be suspended Week Five and we didn’t have to see him.”

Barring something completely unforeseen and unexpected, see Brady they will in Week Five.