CLEVELAND — Some of the reactions to Cleveland Browns star tackle Joe Thomas announcing his retirement on Wednesday, ending an 11-year NFL career marked by his durability and dominance. Thomas is one of just five players to make the Pro Bowl in his first 10 seasons. The other four are Hall of Famers.
“Helleva career @joethomas73!!! Next stop Canton for you brother!!” Cavaliers star LeBron James (@KingJames) on Twitter.
“I have watched Joe from afar throughout his career. I have nothing but respect for the way he has carried himself and the amazing things he has accomplished. He has played this game at an extremely high level. Joe is a heck of a football player and an even better man.” — New Browns general manager John Dorsey.
“Joe has been a pillar of our organization and one of the greatest to put on a Cleveland Browns uniform. We want to thank him for everything he has done for the Browns and the Northeast Ohio community. We should all strive for the standard Joe has set to always be available, put the team above yourself and always give maximum effort.” — Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, who said Thomas’ consecutive snaps number of 10,363 will be added to the team’s ring of honor at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“Joe means so much to me both personally and professionally. Joe has been not just a tremendous Cleveland Brown, but one of the best to ever play in the National Football League. I appreciate everything he has done for this organization and not just on the field, his leadership and what he brought to the locker room. As a coach, you couldn’t ask for a better captain than Joe Thomas. He earned the respect of teammates and peers around the league for the way he worked.” — Browns coach Hue Jackson.
“The deer population in NE Ohio is now at increased danger given @joethomas73’s retirement. An avid outdoorsman, dedicated family man, & the best I’ve ever seen play OT. Been a privilege to watch.” — Former Browns kicker Phil Dawson, now with the Arizona Cardinals.
“Congrats to @joethomas73, who taught me how to play Tackle and be a pro. I would not be where I am today without his teachings, wisdom, patience, and friendship. He made it hard to leave Cleveland, and I’ll always remember his off-field qualities far more than his play. Thank you.” — Kansas City Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who spent four seasons with Thomas in Cleveland.