Ever since he announced his retirement a year ago, you'd be hard pressed to find a bigger Cleveland Browns fan than Joe Thomas.
And moments after it was revealed that his former team had acquired Odell Beckham Jr., Thomas made no bones about where his loyalty lies.
As fate would have it, the 10-time Pro Bowl selection happened to be on set with the NFL Network as news broke that the Browns had agreed to a blockbuster trade with the New York Giants. Grinning from ear to ear, Thomas could hardly contain his excitement as he broke down the trade.
"I'm just blown away. I mean, the moves that [Browns GM] John Dorsey has been able to make in just a couple of years as a general manager, just flipping that entire organization is just jaw-dropping," Thomas said. "You pair Jarvis Landry with his buddy Odell Beckham Jr. and you put it together with the franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield back there -- those guys are going to be together for a long time."
From there, Thomas proceeded to make a plea for safety in Cleveland as he forecasted celebrations to come.
"Remember that river that was burning in Cleveland? And that big parade they had after the Cavs won?" Thomas asked rhetorically. "They better have the firefighters on standby, because that city is about to burn down. That is a Browns town and they can feel it and they can taste it right now."
Thomas isn't wrong. Immediately after acquiring Beckham in a trade that will be made official Wednesday, the Browns' stature in the NFL rose from fringe favorites in the AFC North to full-blown Super Bowl contenders.
There's a bit of irony in that for Thomas, who ended his 11-year Browns career with 10 straight losing seasons. As for the possibility of the 7-time All-Pro coming out of retirement now that Cleveland is a contender, don't count on it anytime soon.
"Bad knees! Bad knees!" Thomas shouted at his lower body. "Why wouldn't you be there for me a couple more years?"