Brown, the team's new director of football operations, said Thursday that he talked with Thomas two or three days after the season finale -- or two or three days after Thomas for the first time said he wasn't sure he wanted to be back with the team in light of its fifth coaching change since he was the third overall pick in the 2007 draft.
"Joe is like us," Brown said. "Very competitive. I think his questions to us were largely focused on how are we going to win. I talked to him about what our plan was, what our strategy was, and assured him that we were going to be doing everything to pursue winning here as an organization.
"You'd have to ask Joe how satisfied he was with the questions, but listen: He's going to be a big piece of what we do moving forward. Has a tremendous amount of insights that we will glean from."
Thomas was not immediately available for comment. He will spend next week in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl.
Brown said he was "confident" his message was well-received.
"I was," he said. "And again this has been a process. It's not like Joe and I have not had conversations before."