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Postby linchao » Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:46 am

Browns star tackle Joe Thomas said his decision on whether to keep playing or retire is ”right around the corner.”

During an onstage interview Tuesday night at an awards show in downtown Cleveland Dalton Schultz Jersey , Thomas remained noncommittal when discussing his future – a decision that has kept the Browns in limbo. The 33-year-old and 10-time Pro Bowler has been mulling retirement since his 2017 season ended prematurely because of a torn left triceps.

”As far as a decision goes, we’re still kind of working through that process,” Thomas said while speaking to a crowd during the Cleveland Chapter of Positive Coaching Alliance’s inaugural Youth Sports Impact Awards Dinner. ”I’m keeping the Browns apprised of everything I’m doing and trying to make the best decision for myself and for the team, and when that decision comes, I’m not quite sure just yet, but I know hopefully it’ll be soon, right around the corner.”

Following the event, Thomas took photos with several groups of fans, but avoided media members waiting to speak with him.

Earlier, Thomas gave some mixed signals about his future.

He said his rehab, which could take as long as nine months, has gone well and that he mostly has full function in his arm.

Thomas has said several times that he planned to give the Browns a decision before the start of free agency, which began on Monday with the ”legal tampering” period and picks up steam when teams can begin signing players at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

New Browns general manager John Dorsey has been active in recent days overhauling the team’s roster. Dorsey reached agreement on four trades and he figures to be just as busy in free agency. The Browns were $113 million under the salary cap before their recent flurry of transactions.

Thomas, who has never played in the postseason and just endured an 0-16 season Patrice Bergeron Jersey , is excited about Cleveland’s additions.

”I think the future is really bright,” Thomas said. ”Obviously, John Dorsey came here for a reason because there was a ton of cap space, a ton of money that you can spend under the salary cap on new players, and obviously the draft picks that we have are pretty impressive, really unprecedented to have the first, the fourth (overall selections) and a couple early picks in the second round. So although the talent hasn’t been there for the team the last few years, the cupboards are not bare because of what we have coming down the pike in the next few years.

”For me as a player and for you guys as fans, it’s a great time to be a Cleveland Brown.”

Out of respect, the Browns are giving Thomas all the time and space he needs to make his decision. But as they wait to hear from him, the club has been examining the free-agent market to potentially find his replacement.

The team reached agreement Tuesday with tackle Chris Hubbard on a five-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Hubbard will sign his deal Wednesday, when teams are permitted to finalize contracts.

Hubbard primarily plays right tackle, but he gives the Browns more options in case Thomas retires.

The Browns also are expected to pursue New England’s Nate Solder Mika Zibanejad Jersey , who has spent the past seven years protecting Tom Brady’s blindside. It’s possible that if Thomas returned, Solder could switch to the right side for a season.

Only one of five players in history selected to the Pro Bowl in his first 10 seasons, Thomas had never missed a snap in his career before he got hurt while blocking on a running play against Tennessee on Oct. 22. The injury snapped his streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps, a remarkable run of durability.

Thomas is sent to earn a $3 million roster bonus on Sunday, which does give him some more time to make a decision. He’ll make an additional $10.3 million in salary next season.




PORTLAND, Ore. — The No. 3 playoff seed in the Western Conference is on the line Wednesday night at Moda Center when the Portland Trail Blazers play host to the Utah Jazz is what will have all the feel of a playoff game.

Portland and Utah come into the final regular-season game with a 48-33 record, but the teams have taken decidedly different routes to get there.

The Trail Blazers enjoyed a 13-game win streak in late February and early March but enter Wednesday’s contest coming off a four-game losing streak. Utah, meanwhile, joins the Houston Rockets as the hottest teams in the NBA. Since Jan. 24, when they were 19-28, the Jazz are 29-5 and have won six straight coming into the showdown at Portland.

The Jazz aren’t just winning games, they’re beating opponents up. In their recent stretch of victories, they’ve defeated Minnesota 121-97 Womens Alejandro Villanueva Jersey , trounced the L.A. Clippers 117-95 and topped the L.A. Lakers 112-97. On Tuesday, Utah annihilated Golden State 119-79 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

“More than anything, I’m just really proud of our guys,” Utah coach Quin Snyder told reporters. “What these guys did collectively to get better. … I don’t want to diminish what this group has accomplished.”

But the Jazz know there is more to accomplish.

“The next thing is getting that No. 3 spot and homecourt advantage (in the first round of the playoffs),” Utah rookie guard Donovan Mitchell said. “That’s our big goal now.”

Utah will be playing the second of back-to-back games at Moda Center, but Snyder used no player more than 28 minutes in the rout of the defending champion Warriors.

More than a week ago, Portland was one victory away from locking down homecourt advantage. That win never came with the Blazers losing in succession to Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Denver on a highly discouraging road trip. Now, it comes down to one more chance to clinch the No. 3 spot in the West.

Portland’s offense has been struggling in recent games, but never more so than Monday night at Denver, when the Blazers shot 33 percent from the field, including 7 for 33 from 3-point range. Was it a matter of just missing good shots?

“We can shoot the ball,” Portland point guard Damian Lillard said after the Denver game. “If we were shooting bad because we were taking bad shots Youth Dustin Byfuglien Jersey , then that would be a problem. But we are getting good looks. … We shoot the ball. That’s what our team does. It’s not a concern. It always comes back.”

Portland coach Terry Stotts said he was encouraged by the defense the Blazers played at Denver, holding the Nuggets to 37.3 percent shooting. Another good sign: The performance of center Jusuf Nurkic, who scored 20 points and collected 19 rebounds — including a career-high eight off the offensive glass — against his old team. Nurkic’s matchup with Utah’s Rudy Gobert will be a key one Wednesday night.

The Blazers will be helped by the return of power forward Ed Davis, who missed four games with a sprained ankle. The veteran reserve, who provides rebounding, defense and energy off the Portland bench, came back to play 15 minutes against the Nuggets and should be closer to 100 percent against the Jazz.

Portland’s starting small forward, Moe Harkless, remains out after undergoing knee surgery March 27. He is expected to be back for the playoffs.

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