Cleveland Browns: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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. Linebacker. (1978-1993). Clay Matthews. 11. player. 53

Greatest players in Cleveland Browns history: 11. Clay Matthews Jr.

Clay Matthews Jr. played 16 seasons with the Browns from 1978-1993. Matthews is one of the most beloved Browns ever, and he was also the leader of the Browns defenses in his playing days.

One of the biggest moments of his career with the Browns was during the 1989 AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Buffalo Bills, intercepting a Jim Kelly pass to help push the Browns to the AFC Championship.

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In his career with the Browns, Matthews eclipsed 100 tackles in a season eight times. In his career in the brown and orange, Matthews amassed 1,430 tackles, which is the most in the franchise’s history, with the next closest player having 974 tackles. Matthews also holds the franchise record for the most sacks with 62 sacks in a Browns uniform. He also added in 14 interceptions and 24 forced fumbles.

Matthews went to the Pro Bowl four times in his career, all with the Browns. He also was named a first team All-Pro in 1984.

Matthews has not been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he has been named a semi-finalist twice since he has been on the ballot. With the numbers that he put up during his career, it would be a surprise if Matthews never made it into the Hall of Fame.