Joe Thomas is first modern Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame selection

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

The Cleveland Browns now have 18 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but Joe Thomas is the first to make it since their 1999 re-introduction

Canton, Ohio is roughly a one-hour drive from Cleveland and it’s worth the trip for any Browns fans who want to check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There are now 17 players from the storied franchise that will be featured there, with Joe Thomas set to make it 18.

However, Thomas is the one player to make it since the Browns were re-introduced to the NFL in 1999.

Names such as Paul Brown, Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Lou Groza, and Ozzie Newsome have been on display for years but the modern-day Browns have struggled to find elite players. That wasn’t the case with Thomas, who was selected third overall in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin.

Thomas was an instant starter and would wind up not only playing in 167 straight games but he also never missed a snap until his final play in 2017.

In all, No. 73 was on the field for 10,363 snaps until he suffered a torn triceps on October 22, 2017. He would later announce his retirement from the league.

Joe Thomas still has a bright career in the NFL

While Thomas hasn’t played in the league since 2017, he’s been far from absent. He’s been a co-host of the popular Thom & Hawk Football Show podcast and can be seen often on NFL Network.

Thomas is well-liked and has done a great job staying active on social media and engaging with fans regularly. It’s also never a surprise to see him around the Browns either as he continues to show love to the one and only team he ever suited up for.

Congratulations to Thomas for being a First-Ballot Hall of Famer and for being the first member of the modern Browns to make it.