The news is rather surprising given that Thomas is under contract through 2018 -- he has no guaranteed money for 2016 -- and Mack, who was almost lost in free agency to the Jacksonville Jaguars a season ago, has a no-trade clause. Mack -- who was listed by our Marc Sessler as a prime trade candidate earlier this week -- can opt out of his long-term deal after this season, though, which could be a motivating factor.
Still, this is an interesting and rather unorthodox approach to the trade deadline. The team likely feels they can replace Mack with 2015 first-round pick Cam Erving and slot one of their other highly-regarded offensive linemen in for Thomas.
Rapoport added that the team is also open to dealing former high-priced free agent acquisition Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo, the No. 6 overall pick from the 2013 draft. This, after already dealing Trent Richardson, their No. 3 overall pick from the 2012 draft. If you're just now sensing a pattern here, catch up. This is Browns football.
This would be the ultimate white flag raised on the 2015 season considering the Browns were going to hang their hat on the run game. Thomas has been one of the franchise's greatest players and, in a way, a trade to a contending opponent would be bittersweet. On one hand, he could finally put his skills to better use, but on the other, he would be departing a team that hinged on his professionalism for years.
Many of these talks often break down but scars from certain names leaking remain. So if general manager Ray Farmer is interested in getting it done, the clock is ticking. Nov. 3, 4 p.m. ET is coming quite soon.