By Nick Shook
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Joe Thomas recently saw his consecutive snaps streak broken, his triceps muscle torn and his season ended.
On Friday, he also saw a nice bump to his bank account.
The Cleveland Browns increased Thomas’ 2017 pay by $1.5 million via a roster bonus that was due Friday (Nov. 3), NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. Thomas is also receiving a $3.5 million raise in 2018 in the form of a March roster bonus, which was increased from $1 million to $3 million, and a base salary increase from $8.8 million to $10.3 million, Pelissero added.
When adding the increases for 2018 (plus a $200,000 workout bonus), Thomas is scheduled to earn $13.5 million in cash next year.
The increase in the March roster bonus replaces an escalator in his contract that would have triggered a $2 million bonus for Thomas making the Pro Bowl, which is now unlikely after Thomas’ torn triceps ended his season after just seven games. With the Browns‘ franchise tackle making the Pro Bowl in each of his 10 professional seasons, his 11th appearance was essentially guaranteed. Cleveland’s increase of Thomas’ roster bonus ensures the tackle will be paid for his achievements, even if an injury likely robbed him of such an honor for 2017.
What’s clear here is the Browns are doing their best to show their appreciation for Thomas’ contributions over the last decade, which save for 2007 has been filled with ineptitude at almost every position except left tackle. Cleveland is also attempting to incentivize Thomas’ return.
Thomas’ contract runs through 2018, but he did mention thoughts of retirement in a recent piece he wrote as a guest contributor for The MMQB. It’s obvious that the Browns are trying to keep the future Hall of Fame tackle from hanging it up, showing him the money now and hoping it will be enough when Thomas is healthy enough to make an informed decision on his career.