Legendary Browns left tackle Joe Thomas hasn't yet made a decision on whether he'll play next season, but says "the end of my career is coming sooner than later."
The 10-time Pro Bowler spoke to WKYC's Dave Chudowsky and others Tuesday at the National Football Foundation awards banquet. A variety of topics were discussed, from his future to his team's options at quarterback.
Regarding the former, Thomas said he isn't leaning one way or the other, and compared the decision to picking where to go to college.
"One day you wake up and you're thinking, 'Well, I want to go to Notre Dame.' The next day, it's like, 'Ah, I think I want to go to Wisconsin,'" he said. "You've got to really make sure you spend time and come up with the right decision."
He did, however, say he wants to let the Browns front office know before free agency begins on Mar. 14 so the team will know whether or not it needs to search for an immediate replacement.
On the topic of a New York Post report that he had auditioned for a media role with FOX, Thomas confirmed the meeting took place but said he hasn't yet been offered any television jobs. He is, however, "keeping his options open."
"Whether I decide to retire or not, I think the end of my career is coming sooner than later," he said. "It's could to kind of figure out a little bit where that career might head after your football days are done."
As for the quarterback situation, Thomas guessed the Browns would end up with Alabama product A.J. McCarron, who has backed up Andy Dalton for the Cincinnati Bengals the past four years and enjoys a good relationship with former offensive coordinator and current Browns head coach Hue Jackson. Cleveland tired to obtain McCarron at the trade deadline last year, but the paperwork was not filed in time.
Thomas also wasn't sure what the Browns would do with the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, saying the team is "in a good position to go either way" in regards to taking a QB or another prospect like Penn State's Saquon Barkley. Thomas was, however, disappointed USC's Sam Darnold (whom many have pegged as the top selection) did not throw at the NFL Combine.
"The consensus is building a little bit that he's sort of the number one guy," he said. "Nobody is going to be able to put him in that slot until they see him actually throw...I'm excited to watch him at his pro day."
So do Thomas' words give us any clues as to whether or not he will hang up his pads? If anything, they tell us we should now within the next week.