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Joe Thomas says Cleveland Browns' chances of landing Kirk Cousins are 'out the window'

Thomas had previously publicly campaigned for the Browns to sign the Redskins quarterback.

Ever since the NFL offseason began, Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas hasn't been shy in his recruitment of free agent quarterback-to-be Kirk Cousins.

Whether it be on ESPN, where he said he thinks the Browns should go after the Washington Redskins signal-caller, or on Twitter, where he's been a little less subtle, Thomas has made it clear what he thinks Cleveland should do at quarterback this offseason.

But on the most-recent episode ThomaHawk Show podcast, which he hosts with former Browns wideout Andrew Hawkins, the 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle sounded like a defeated man. After Hawkins brought up the Browns' pursuit of Cousins, Thomas admitted that he now thinks Cleveland is an unlikely landing spot for the 2016 Pro Bowl selection.

"I think those chances are out the window, to be totally honest with you," Thomas said. "It doesn't seem like the Browns are going to land Kirk Cousins."

After stating that he doesn't "know anything anybody else does," Thomas went on to elaborate that he now believes it will be either the Denver Broncos or New York Jets who ultimately acquire Cousins later this offseason "just based on what people that know people are saying."

"I think Kirk is looking for a team like Denver that has a really good defense that in his opinion is like a quarterback away," Thomas said.

The Browns wouldn't seem to qualify as such team, as they look to bounce back from what was just the second 0-16 season in NFL history. Instead, Cleveland seems more likely to select a quarterback with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, in addition to signing a veteran signal-caller.

"I don't think the Browns are going to be a contender because, from my perspective, the people that are in the front office are not willing to pay Kirk $30-$35 million a year to come here for the reasons we outlined before," Thomas said. "He's not a top-five guy -- clearly not a top-five guy, so they don't want to throw that type of money at him.

"Reading the tea leaves makes me think the Browns won't be players with him, but they will be players in the veteran quarterback market."

If that turns out to be true, Thomas -- who has openly contemplated his retirement in recent weeks -- may have dropped a hint regarding the next quarterback he'd like to see the Browns target. As his discussion with Hawkins regarding signal-callers continue, Thomas let it be known that he's a big fan of Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is not currently a free agent, but could potentially be available via trade.

"Tyrod, he's the most underrated guy in free agency, in my opinion," Thomas said. "I like him better than all those other sort of second-tier guys."

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