Browns legend Joe Thomas voted as finalist for Hall of Fame

Cleveland Browns, Joe Thomas. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns, Joe Thomas. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Former Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas was voted as one of the 15 modern-era finalists for the NFL Hall of Fame

Stand aside Babe Ruth, Joe Thomas might have called his shot in a more impressive way than the Great Bambino. After being drafted by the Cleveland Browns at No. 3 overall, Thomas was open and honest about his own goals in the NFL.

He started small, by saying he wanted to make sure he would become a starter. When the Cleveland media said that seemed like an obtainable goal — even early on — he upped the ante.

Thomas then said he wanted to make the Pro Bowl and be a Hall of Famer. He said he was being serious because he expects perfection from himself but acknowledged that those in the room might have seen this as biting off more than he could chew.

"“I think at that time there was probably some members in the Cleveland media that were like, ‘huh, okay, yeah, we’ll be happy if you just make a Pro Bowl or two,’’’ he said with a laugh according to Mary Kay Cabot"

Well, Thomas is the one laughing now as he was named one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thomas is joined by stars such as Darrelle Revis, Jared Allen, Andre Johnson, DeMarcus Ware, Reggie Wayne, and Patrick Willis.

Thomas also has a shot at being a first-ballot selection, and it feels fitting for that to happen. Not only was he one of the absolute best offensive linemen in the league throughout his entire career, but he was the most reliable player the league has ever seen.

The Wisconsin product owns one of the most impressive records in the game as he played 10,636 consecutive snaps before a torn Triceps muscle ended his 2017 campaign — and ultimately his career.

It’s one thing to start every game but to never miss a single snap in 167 consecutive games is a different kind of tough.

That toughness is why he was not only loved by Cleveland fans but well-respected around the NFL. Now, we wait to see if that’s enough to get him into the Hall of Fame this year.