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Is Joe Thomas Heading for a Holdout?

There are already talks about Brady Quinn holding out, and now today’s Plain Dealer says that the Browns first pick in the first round, Joe Thomas, is headed for a holdout as well.  Thomas, who is going to at some point be the teams starting left tackle, is going to be in the envious spot of sitting back and wating what number one pick QB JaMarcus Russell gets from the Raiders, and what number two pick WR Calvin Johnson gets from Detroit.

Phil Savage, Browns GM told the paper in a phone interview that getting the number three pick to come to terms is no easy task.  “The No. 3 spot has its travails as well [in terms of negotiations],” Browns General Manager Phil Savage told the paper. “The three previous No. 3 picks were Larry Fitzgerald [Cardinals receiver], Braylon Edwards [Browns receiver] and Vince Young [Titans quarterback], so it’s no great shake in the top five.”

While Thomas’ agent, Peter Schaffer wants to get his client into camp on time come July 23rd, you know full well he is going to make sure his high profile client gets a huge deal in the process.  Something Savage knows all about.  “It’s not a pretty picture in terms of trying to negotiate an offensive lineman versus a quarterback and two top-echelon receivers who were thought by many to be the top players in their draft,” said Savage. “As much of a great advantage it was to win the coin toss, we were also well aware of the contract situation at that spot.”

Thomas is a key to the Browns rebuilding of the offensive line.  Many Browns fans were excited when they took Thomas, as they realized that finally they were getting a player that was going to be able to protect the QB as well as open holes for running backs.  Now, with an impending hold out coming, the honeymoon may be over real quick if Thomas doesn’t get into camp in a timely manner.  And Thomas may find himself behind the 8-ball for the first part of the 2007 season.

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