Former Cleveland Browns star Joe Thomas recently shared an intriguing anecdote from the 2015 NFL season, revealing that the Denver Broncos, led by Peyton Manning, made an effort to acquire him through a trade. Despite the Browns’ lack of success, Thomas remained dedicated to the team throughout his 11-season career.
According to Thomas, Manning personally contacted him with a peculiar proposal after it became clear that the Browns were not open to the idea of trading him. In a joking manner, Manning suggested that Thomas should create a scene in the general manager’s office by pulling down his pants and “making a stink on his desk” to force a trade.
The Broncos’ interest in Thomas arose when their All-Pro left tackle, Ryan Clady, suffered an injury, leaving them in need of a reliable replacement to protect Manning’s blindside. Negotiations between the Broncos and the Browns ensued, establishing the groundwork for a potential trade. However, due to Thomas’s loyalty to the Browns and his popularity among fans, the Cleveland front office hesitated to let him go.
Despite Manning’s belief that the proposed trade was fair and that the Broncos had a strong team capable of winning the Super Bowl, the deal never came to fruition because Thomas refused to be part of such an extreme plan.
Ultimately, the Broncos and Manning went on to win the Super Bowl that season, while the Browns struggled with a 3-13 record in the AFC North. As Thomas prepares for his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, he can reflect on his remarkable career. With his bust forever enshrined in Canton, he can look back on amusing stories like this one and ponder the alternate paths his career could have taken if the Browns had made a different decision.