Joe Thomas to Lions? ‘Just talk,’ Browns say

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Joe Thomas

Boca Raton, Fla. — Like many teams, the Lions would like to upgrade their left tackle position. But despite regular rumors about Cleveland’s Joe Thomas being available in a trade, Browns coach Hue Jackson said Tuesday that Thomas isn’t going anywhere.

“Where’s he going?” Jackson said when asked if he expected Thomas to remain with the Browns.

But, there has been a lot of talk about Thomas going elsewhere, right?

“You just said it: talk,” Jackson said. “I feel good about him. Everybody wants to know if we’re trading him; Joe’s not going anywhere. That’s a quarterback’s best friend, a great left tackle, especially if (the quarterback is) right-handed.”

Cleveland is still looking for a solution at quarterback, of course, but trading Thomas — a six-time All-Pro — would be a “disservice” to the team, Jackson said. The coach also called Thomas, 31, “the best left tackle in football.”

Thomas was the third overall pick in 2007, going one spot after Calvin Johnson.

“We need him here,” Jackson said.

Ex-coach: Marvin Jones wants to be a No. 1 receiver

Other business

The Lions continued to reshape their business department on Tuesday, announcing one hire and one promotion.

The team hired Bill Hawker as the new vice president of partnerships, taking him away from the Green Bay Packers. Hawker went to Northern Michigan and spent the past 10 seasons with the Packers, including most recently working as the manager of corporate sales.

With the Lions, Hawker “will lead the Lions’ partnerships team and focus on acquisition and retention of corporate sponsors, advertisers and business partners, while generating new and sustaining existing revenue streams to support team business objectives,” according to a news release.

The Lions also promoted Elliott Kessler to vice president of finance after he spent the past three years as director of finance. Now, he’ll manage the financial operations for the franchise and Ford Field.

... Lions president Rod Wood said the team’s alternate jerseys could be unveiled next month as part of the NFL’s color rush jerseys for Thursday night games.