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Joe Thomas thinks Belichick was afraid of Garoppolo signing with an AFC East team

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This is a pretty hot take from the Browns’ offensive tackle.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas is one of the best players in the league, and a popular topic of conversation when people think about players who “waste” their career with a bad team. He’s never been afraid to speak his mind, either, and on Sunday, Thomas took to Twitter to talk about the Jimmy Garoppolo trade.

He talked a lot, too. He said a number of things, including the opinion that the Browns were never actually in on the discussion because the Patriots wouldn’t trade him there. Thomas summed up his numerous Tweets with this one:

The folks over at SB Nation’s Patriots blog, Pats Pulpit, have a lot more of his Tweets and commentary on them if you want to go that route.

To catch you up, the New England Patriots traded Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a second-round pick, a steal. The Browns were reportedly willing to give up a lot more than that, but they were either denied or not included in the talks at all, depending on which reports you believe.

The reasons for this are anybody’s guess. The most credible report, from Seth Wickersham of ESPN, suggested that Patriots owner Robert Kraft ordered Bill Belichick to trade Garoppolo before the deadline because he isn’t a factor in the team’s immediate plans at quarterback. Kraft has denied this, and said he’s surprised that Belichick moved Garoppolo for just a second-round pick.

I tend to believe Wickersham, though it is still glaringly obvious that the 49ers got a great deal. Wickersham’s report suggests that Belichick wanted Garoppolo to succeed, had respect for 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and respect for Kyle’s father, Mike Shanahan. That all makes sense to me.

But Thomas believes that the Patriots — Belichick specifically — were afraid that if they sent Garoppolo to “somewhere with instability” (like the Browns, though the 49ers haven’t exactly been the model of consistency over the past several years), he would hit free agency and sign with an AFC East team, the same division the Patriots currently rule over.

And in that scenario, Belichick is afraid that Garoppolo would beat the Patriots two times every year for the next 10-plus years.

What do ya’ll think?