CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Joe Thomas is headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The former Browns left tackle was voted into the Class of 2023, which was officially announced during the NFL Honors in Phoenix Thursday night.
Thomas is just the seventh modern-era offensive tackle in NFL history to be inducted on his first year of eligibility.
“The one theme that has been, probably, the thing I hold most closely to my heart when people ask about ‘What are you most proud of during your career,’ it’s that snap streak because of what it represents to me,” Thomas said. “‘Count on me.’ That was always the motto I had in my head. It was ‘Count on me.’ When times get tough, and you want to know who to look at, count on me. You know you can slide to my side. ‘Count on me’ was something that was ingrained in my brain, ingrained in my character from when I was a little boy. It’s always just been part of my identity, and I think that’s why that snap streak is the most special thing I think about when I think about my career.”
Thomas played 11 seasons in Cleveland and started all 167 games for the Browns during that span. His 10,363 consecutive snaps is believed to be the longest streak in NFL history. His 10 Pro Bowl selections are also the most in team history.
“We are so proud Joe Thomas will be recognized, appropriately, as a first-ballot Hall of Famer,” Dee and Jimmy Haslam said. “Joe epitomized the standard of excellence in everything he did for the Cleveland Browns organization and for our community. He was the essence of all you want in a player, as a teammate and representing the Browns organization. His extraordinary accomplishments and endurance playing 10-plus years without missing a single snap is unparalleled. How he went about his work each day was equally inspiring, the model of consistency, resiliency and class.
“Beyond being one of the best in NFL history, he was just as exceptional off the field. Joe and his wife, Annie have made an impact on so many people in Cleveland and have done so in a humble, unassuming way. He is just a tremendous human being. We are so happy that Joe will take his rightful place among our game’s greatest in Canton.”
Joe Thomas will become the 18th Browns alumnus to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Thomas, and the rest of the Class of 2023, will be inducted Saturday, Aug. 5.
This year’s Hall of Fame class will also include Darrelle Revis, DeMarcus Ware, Ken Riley, Joe Klecko, Chuck Howley, Ronde Barber, Don Coryell, and Zach Thomas.