The Cleveland Browns are in need of help at the safety position after rookie Grant Delpit went down with a season ending Achilles injury on Monday and there are reports that the team could look at former Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowler Earl Thomas.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the Browns have interest in signing Thomas during a spot on Sportscenter on Tuesday. Other options for the Browns could include former Titans safety Logan Ryan, or former Ravens safety Tony Jefferson, who’s coming off a knee injury last season.
Of those names, however, Thomas is the most polarizing considering how his stay with the Ravens ended earlier this month, being let go for conduct that adversely affected the team.
The 31-year-old Thomas signed a four-year deal with the Ravens last offseason. In his lone season with the Ravens, Thomas started 15 games, made 47 tackles and notched two interceptions and was voted to his seventh Pro Bowl.
“Appreciate the Ravens organization for the opportunity,” Thomas wrote on social media. “Had a great run .. Wish things would have ended different but you live and you learn. Thank you [Ravens GM] Eric DeCosta and everyone else who played a role in bringing him to B-More. Wish you guys the best.”
The Browns are +800 to land Thomas, according to odds provided by SportsLine, which puts them in the top five contenders. The Cowboys lead the way at +150, followed by the 49ers (+300), Patriots (+500) and the Eagles (+700).
Kevin Stefanski: Leaving Earl Thomas Decision to GM
Browns first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski was asked about the team’s possible interest in Thomas during his media availability on Tuesday, but stayed fairly tight-lipped.
“I would leave that in Andrew Berry’s court,” Stefanski told reporters, referring to the Browns general manager.
While Thomas comes with some baggage, he’s proven that he still has talent. If the Browns opt not to sign a veteran in free agency, they’d be relying on the likes of Karl Joseph, Andrew Sendejo and Sheldrick Redwine to fill the void.
It’s unknown what kind of money Thomas would command on the open market. But regardless, the Browns have the most cap space available, just over $40 million, per Over The Cap. He could also be inclined to sign with the Browns in an effort to stick it to his former squad twice per season in the AFC North.
Browns Bummed for Grant Delpit After Injury
The Browns selected Delpit in the second round of this year’s draft. The LSU product could have been a first-round pick after his stellar 2018-19 season, when he won. the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top defensive back, but chose instead to go back to school.
Delpit had dealt with a nagging ankle injury last season at LSU that limited his production. He told reporters after the draft that he could barely walk after game days during the Tigers’ National Championship season, but he still suited up eager to help his team every week.
Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who shares the LSU bond with Delpit, said he’d be there for him every step of the way during the rehab process.
“I’ve watched him since he came into LSU,” Beckham said Tuesday. “I told him I’m here for him, anything he needs. I know what it’s like to put so much work in, aspirations, dreams, and then be let down.”