Thomas told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday that he wants to make up his mind by March 14 whether to return to the team for a 12th NFL season, per ProFootballTalk.com.
"I'd like to make a decision before free agency to give the Browns the best opportunity to prepare for everything that happens in the offseason," Thomas said. "Whether I'm going to come back or retire, I think, from their perspective, having a certain need going into free agency is important."
The 33-year-old Thomas failed to play 16 games for the first time in his career in 2017 after suffering a season-ending torn triceps injury on Oct. 22.
Named to the All-Pro first team six times and a 10-time Pro Bowl selection, Thomas has said he is not worried about the triceps tendon as much as nagging injuries to both his knee and back.