Joe Thomas joked about his former coaches Youth Tyler Pitlick Jersey , thanked many of his ex-teammates and playfully referred to himself as a mushroom.
The 10-time Pro Bowl selection commanded the room – and kept his emotions in check – until the final moments of his retirement news conference Monday.
”It is with all of this that I must say goodbye,” Thomas said, his eyes welling with tears. ”Goodbye, not because I’m saying goodbye, but I’m just changing jobs from being your left tackle to being the No. 1 fan of the Cleveland Browns.
”Playing in front of the greatest fans in the NFL was easily the greatest honor of my 11-year career.”
Thomas, the No. 3 pick in the 2007 draft, formally bid farewell in an afternoon celebration at the Browns’ training facility. He was joined by his wife Annie, their three children, longtime agent Peter Schaffer, and several hundred invited guests.
The 6-foot-6, 310-pounder announced the end of his Hall of Fame-caliber run five days earlier, citing the physical toll of starting 167 straight games and playing an NFL-record 10,363 consecutive offensive snaps to begin his career.
Thomas’ ironman streak ended when he tore his left triceps in an Oct. 22 home game against Tennessee Youth Le'Veon Bell Jersey , but admitted that thoughts of retirement had entered his mind before the season-ending injury.
”I was in tough shape physically and I was concerned that I wasn’t going to make it through the season,” the three-time Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee said.
”I also was concerned that my performance was going to drop significantly because of what I had to do to get my (ailing) knee ready on Sunday. I wanted people to remember the player that I was on the field.”
The Wisconsin native – and All-American tackle with his beloved Badgers – is one of the best players never to appear in a playoff game. He set the gold standard as the lone offensive lineman in NFL history to be chosen for the Pro Bowl in his first 10 seasons.
Hall of Famers Barry Sanders, Lawrence Taylor, Mel Renfro and Merlin Olson are the only other players to accomplish the feat. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam III is confident that Thomas will join them in nearby Canton.
”Five years from now, all of us in this room will make the trek down to Canton to watch Joe as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, which he richly deserves as one of the all-time greats of the league,” Haslam said.
”But first, we’re celebrating him today, and we’ll celebrate it again this year when the number 10,363 goes up in our ring of honor (at FirstEnergy Stadium).”
Haslam, general manager John Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson presented Thomas with a fishing rod embroidered with his familiar No. 73. The city of Cleveland will fete him on July 3 with ”Joe Thomas Day.”
Thomas’ local popularity began on his draft day, when he bypassed a trip to New York in favor of fishing with his father. While on Lake Michigan, he told reporters that his objective was to become a Hall of Famer.
”I knew what I wanted to focus on from day one because I wanted to make sure my goals were as high as they wanted to be Mike Condon Jersey ,” he said. ”I gave it my all and I never sold myself short. Hopefully, in five years, I’ll be able to think about that a little more.”
Though he hopes to remain with the Browns in some capacity, Thomas plans on moving back to Wisconsin to spend more time with his parents and extended family. His short-term plan is continuing to host a podcast with former Cleveland wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, but he is eager to pursue potential coaching and broadcasting jobs.
Jackson, who warmly embraced Thomas off stage, compared him to a fancy sports car and believes he will be successful in whatever field he chooses.
”I don’t know if I’m a Ferrari, maybe more of a beat-up truck like Mater on that show `Cars,”’ Thomas said. ”The main reason I retired was I knew that Hue was going to make the rest of the team jump in the lake with him this year (honoring his vow after a 0-16 season), and I didn’t want to do that.”
NOTE: The Browns sent defensive back C.J. Smith to Seattle for a 2020 conditional seventh-round pick.
Jarvis Landry is leaving one bad offense for another one.
The Miami Dolphins agreed to trade the Pro Bowl receiver to the Cleveland Browns for two draft picks, two people familiar with the deal said Friday.
The people confirmed the agreement to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because under NFL rules, no trade can be completed until Wednesday, the start of the league's new year. The Dolphins will receive a fourth-round pick this year and a seventh-rounder in 2019 Womens Mattias Ekholm Jersey , one of the people said.
Miami finished sixth-worst in scoring last season and went 6-10. Cleveland finished last in scoring and went 0-16.
The Browns were desperate to land a playmaker such as Landry, who will complement former Pro Bowl receiver Josh Gordon. Landry has been selected to three consecutive Pro Bowls and has 400 receptions, an NFL record for a fourth-year player.
"Y'all better understand (stuff) about to get SERIOUS... ON MY MAMA," Landry tweeted after news of the deal broke.
The trade was among a flurry Friday by the Browns. They agreed to acquire quarterback Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills for a third-round draft pick, and agreed to send quarterback DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers for cornerback Damarious Randall.
Landry signed a $16 million, one-year franchise tag Thursday with Miami, clearing the path for his trade. The Dolphins began shopping him when the parties were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term contract.
He's likely to get that extension from the Browns.
Landry made $894,000 last year, when he completed the contract he signed as a rookie. He was by far the highest-profile Dolphins player eligible for free agency, and perhaps the best player on an offense that sputtered with quarterback Jay Cutler.
But Landry's volatile personality became a concern for Miami. He was ejected in the fourth quarter of the season finale, a loss to Buffalo, and coach Adam Gase said the episode was embarrassing and "extremely bad."
Miami's passing attack in 2017 gave Landry a bizarre stat line: 112 receptions to lead the league and break his own franchise record, but an average of 8.8 yards per catch to rank 110th. He a career-high nine touchdowns but finished 13 yards shy of 1 Authentic Shea Weber Jersey ,000.
Landry's departure adds a receiver to the Dolphins' long list of offseason needs. Receivers Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker are expected to return, along with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who missed all of 2017 because of a knee injury.
Cleveland is $113 million under the salary cap and was expected to seek an impact receiver in free agency. Acquiring Landry has likely changed those plans and the Browns can address a multitude of other needs.
Landry typically plays slot receiver, and the Browns have been disappointed with the production of former first-round draft pick Corey Coleman, who has been injured the past two seasons.
Gordon may benefit most from Landry's arrival and the talented 26-year-old posted four trophy emojis on his Twitter page after the news of trade broke.
With 12 picks in this year's draft, including the Nos. 1 and 4 overall and five in the first 64, the Browns had the ability to pull off a major deal for a major player.
Hue Jackson has handed his offense over to former Pittsburgh coordinator Todd Haley, who should know how to best use a player of Landry's skill after coaching Antonio Brown the past few seasons.
Cleveland's offense didn't have a legitimate go-to receiver last season until Gordon returned from an indefinite NFL suspension with five games left. Running back Duke Johnson finished as the club's leading receiver.
Without enough players to spread out defenses, the Browns were too often one-dimensional, and their lack of options made life more difficult for Kizer, who led the NFL with 22 interceptions
AP Sports Writer Tom Withers in Cleveland contributed to this report.
Carolina Panthers Customized Jerseys