CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – When Joe Haden was released last August, no one really seemed to grasp the reasoning behind the move.
Players and coaches all said the politically correct things at the time as not to rock the boat with the entire season still in front of them but it was clear the move to release Haden, who signed with the Steelers a few days later, did not go over well with many within the team.
Left tackle Joe Thomas confirmed as much during the latest UNINTERRUPTED Thomahawk Show podcast, which was released Thursday morning.
“I think it was really sad for a lot of the guys in the locker room,” Thomas said on the podcast co-hosted by former teammate Andrew Hawkins. “I think this year the Browns made a lot of moves – trading guys, releasing guys – but in the 2017 season, I think that move when they cut Joe Haden was probably the most deflating move for the coaching staff and the players in the locker room. Especially all those young guys we have – they all looked up to Joe, they loved Joe, everyone loved him and we’re thinking, ‘We cut this guy and we have $70 million in cap space? What is that trying to say about the season?.'”
Thomas remains undecided about his own future.
He said Thursday night at the 18th annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards that he goes back and forth but he will let the Browns know what he plans to do prior to free agency, which begins on March 14 at 4 p.m.
The Browns are coming off an 0-16 season and are 1-31 in the last two and 4-44 over the last three seasons – all NFL records for futility – but Thomas said moves or anticipated moves made by the front office this offseason will have no impact on his decision.