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The Browns have finally broken Joe Thomas

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He'll keep making Pro Bowls, but the Browns seem to have finally crushed the spirit of their longest-tenured player.

The Cleveland Browns have been a complete and utter mess for the last several years, and through it all one of the best players in the NFL has kept his head down and done his job as well as anybody else in the league.

But offensive tackle Joe Thomas may have finally had enough. After the Browns' season-ending loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, the nine-year veteran did not rule out asking for a trade depending on what happens with the front office and coaching staff next, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

"I was always wanting to be here and be part of the turnaround, but when there's changes in the front office, changes in the coaching staff, they may not want me," he said. "They [may] want to go younger. It may be a situation where I don't want to be here. I don't know. There's too many unknowns to really say one way or the other."


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On Sunday, the Browns fired general manager Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine. They are searching for their fourth head coach in five seasons. Over that time, Thomas has reliably manned the left tackle spot better than just about anybody else in the NFL and is the longest-tenured player on the Browns roster. He has never missed a game in his NFL career.

"I'm not saying yes, I'm not saying no, but there's a lot of unknowns and who knows what's going to happen next week," Thomas said, when asked whether he specifically wants to go to a new team.

Since the Browns selected him with the No. 3 overall pick in 2007, Thomas has been named a first-team All-Pro five times, a second-team All-Pro twice and has made it to nine Pro Bowls, every year of his career.

Just a few months ago, Thomas stated his intentions to stick it out after he was nearly traded to the Denver Broncos.

"I'm not a quitter,'' the 31-year-old said in November. "I'm not a guy that gives up on my goals and my goal from day one was to be part of the turnaround here and that hasn't changed. I want to finish my career here."

Thomas did reiterate that helping the Browns make a turnaround is still his goal, but with all of the changes looming, that's looking incredibly unlikely. Nobody will ever insinuate Thomas didn't do his part to help the Browns get better on the field, but there's nothing he can do to fix a chaotic front office and a constantly rotating coaching staff.

Thomas will be wearing a Browns helmet once again on Jan. 31 in the 2016 Pro Bowl, but whether that is the last time we see him representing the organization is the question.

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SB Nation presents: A timeline of the Browns' dysfunctional Week 17