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Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. He spent all 11 of his NFL seasons in Cleveland, setting a league record with 10,363 consecutive snaps played. But if Peyton Manning had his way, Thomas would have been a member of the Denver Broncos for his final few seasons.
Prior to the 2015 season, Broncos franchise left tackle Ryan Clady tore his ACL. They placed him on IR and he missed the entire season. Following the injury, the team signed Ryan Harris to replace Clady.
But according to Joe Thomas, Denver attempted to trade for him just before the trade deadline.
Thomas appeared on Adam Schefter’s podcast and told a fascinating story about that 2015 NFL season.
Thomas said that the Broncos and Browns essentially agreed on a trade for the All-Pro tackle. However, Cleveland’s management didn’t want to trade Thomas. They worried that dealing the one franchise mainstay — and best player — might look bad to fans.
For a Browns team that didn’t have much going for it in the 2010s, Joe Thomas was THE guy. They couldn’t risk dealing him, even though he was an aging player that only had a couple seasons left.
“Peyton realized that the deal’s there … but it’s not going to happen unless Joe does something very drastic,” Thomas recalled.
He then says Manning offered advice on what “very drastic” means.
“‘Joe, I think you should go up to your GM’s office and make a stink. Literally, I want you to go up there, pull your pants down, and make a stink on his desk.'”
That’s certainly one way to demand a trade!
As Thomas notes, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl that season. So Thomas had a chance to be a Super Bowl champion.
However, he says he’s happy he played his entire career for one franchise.
Even if that franchise, the Cleveland Browns, finished last in their division in nine of Thomas’ 11 NFL season.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak