Former Cleveland Browns star Joe Thomas just went scorched earth onJim Irsay ... blasting the Colts owner for hiring "drinking buddy" Jeff Saturday as Indy's next head coach.
Thomas, who played 11 years in the league, didn't hold back a thing while appearing on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" on Friday ... calling the Saturday hire "the most egregious thing I can ever remember happening in the NFL."
"It is one of the most disrespectful things I have ever seen in my entire life," the ex-offensive lineman said.
Thomas called it a complete slap to the face of all of the other coaches in the league who have worked tirelessly at their crafts for years.
Thomas then said Saturday's introductory press conference earlier this week -- one in which Irsay said he was actually glad Jeff didn't have prior head coaching experience -- was also disrespectful to those around the NFL.
"I was in France with my kids earlier in the week, but when I saw this, I thought it was a joke," he said. "I thought maybe I had a little Google translate and all the sudden I'm in the wrong calendar and it's April 1st or something going on."
Thomas threw some shade Saturday's way too ... seemingly implying the 47-year-old should have simply rejected Irsay's job offer.
Jeff will begin his tenure on Sunday -- whether Thomas likes or it not -- when the Colts take on the Raiders in Las Vegas.