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Report: Broncos offered Browns a first-round pick for Joe Thomas

Indianapolis Colts v Cleveland Browns

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The Broncos are buyers and the Browns are sellers as this afternoon’s NFL trade deadline approaches, and there has apparently been talk of the Broncos buying the Browns’ most valuable asset.

Tony Grossi of reports that the Browns and Broncos discussed a trade for All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas, and the Broncos were willing to give up their 2016 first-round pick. However, the Browns wanted even more than that, also asking for the promising young linebacker Shaq Barrett, and the Broncos decided that was too much.

Those discussions came after the Broncos lost their first left tackle, Ryan Clady, to a season-ending injury but before the Broncos lost their second left tackle, Ty Sambrailo, to a season-ending injury. It’s possible that the Broncos could be willing to sweeten the offer today after placing Sambrailo on injured reserve yesterday.

Thomas is signed through 2018 at $10 million a year -- a fair price for a left tackle as good as Thomas, but a price that would make him a tight fit under the Broncos’ salary cap. The cap issues and the hefty price the Browns are asking makes a Thomas trade unlikely. But it bears watching in the next seven hours, before the trade deadline hits.