Joe Thomas cracks jokes, reflects on career as Cleveland Brown

BEREA, Ohio– Joe Thomas held a news conference at the Cleveland Browns training facility Monday afternoon following his retirement announcement last week.

The offensive tackle, who played seven games last season before suffering torn triceps, said he his body, in particular his knee, could not continue to compete at the necessary level.

On Monday, owner Jimmy Haslam introduced Thomas, then general manager John Dorsey and coach Hue Jackson presented him with a Browns fishing poll.

While his NFL career had quiet beginnings, on a fishing boat in Wisconsin with his dad on draft day, he eventually became a vocal personality on the team. That shined during his retirement news conference, as he made jokes about everyone from former quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Brandon Weeden, to former team executives Ray Farmer and Sashi Brown.

Thomas will miss the brotherhood of the locker room the most. He shared a few memories, like Phil Dawson’s rule-changing kick against the Ravens in 2007 and dancing with Brian Hoyer after the Browns beat the Titans in 2014.

Thomas thanked his head coaches, general managers and former teammates including Alex Mack, Mitchell Schwartz and Joel Bitonio. He also had a lot of kind words about Browns fans.

“I hope I was able to make you guys proud,” Thomas said. “My excitement for my team and my city never wavered.”

As for his future, Thomas said he has a lot of things to think about. He wants to still be involved in football and would consider a broadcasting career. Right now, his job is changing from left tackle to being the No. 1 fan of the Cleveland Browns. He’s also looking foward to spending more time with his family.

The Browns selected Thomas with the third overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He was selected to 10 Pro Bowls and played 10,363 consecutive snaps, which is believed to the longest streak in league history.

The 33-year-old will be enshrined into the Browns Ring of Honor this year and will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton in five years.

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