No. 1 all-time Cleveland Browns player since 1999- Joe Thomas, OL
Joe Thomas is not only the best player to play for the Browns since 1999, but he’s also one of the best offensive tackles in NFL history. He was always steady, consistent, and suited up every Sunday.
The former Wisconsin Badger played every down from the time he was drafted third overall in the 2007 NFL Draft until he suffered a career-ending triceps injury in 2017. That was 10,363 straight snaps in 167 straight games. That’s truly a remarkable feat when you see the physicality he played with.
Thomas was a 10-time Pro Bowler and is destined to be selected to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton. That announcement could happen soon as the NFL shares this year’s selections the weekend of the Super Bowl in February of 2023. In addition to the Pro Bowls, he was also a six-time All-Pro and was part of the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame All-2010s Team.
Since leaving the game, he often reflects on that amazing accomplishment of never missing a game in his career and he’ll mention how he tried to be a reliable and consistent player for his teammates.
Despite playing for an abysmal team for much of his career, he continued to try and be the best he could be and refused to be traded to contenders when opportunities. He was focused on helping the franchise that believed in him turn the corner.
One player can’t change the success of a team, but Thomas did what he could to defend his quarterbacks and open gaps for his running backs. The loyalty that Thomas gave to Cleveland will always be remembered fondly by fans. We look forward to seeing him inducted into the Hall of Fame soon.