Making The Case For Joe Thomas’s Pro Football Hall Of Fame Candidacy

Cleveland Browns v Arizona Cardinals

On February 9, 2023, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be introduced to the public.

Among those players on the shortlist waiting to find out his fate is Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas.

If selected, Joe Thomas would be selected as a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and he would be the 18th Cleveland Browns player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

There is a strong case for Thomas to be part of the Class of 2023.

His former team took to social media to champion his cause in comparison to his HOF peers in the same position group including Jackie Slater, Forrest Gregg, and Jonathan Ogden to name a few.

In addition to the Pro Bowl appearances (10), career games (167), and All-Pro teams (8), Thomas brought intangibles to the Browns during his career.


1. Longevity

Thomas started all 167 games in his 11-year career.

He played 100% of the offensive snaps from 2012-2016.

(Snap count data was not shared by the NFL prior to 2012).

Thomas played a very physical position on the offensive line and was capable of withstanding the pounding of the game and play snap after snap, year after year.

2. Consistent, Clean Play

Playing the majority of the snap counts is great, but what Thomas did and how he impacted the game were critical too.

He played clean, disciplined football, only committing 61 accepted penalties over his 167-game career and the 5,787 recorded snaps he played from 2012-2017, and the estimated 5,000+ snaps he likely played from 2007-2012.

3. The Best Player On Some Bad Teams

Joe Thomas was the most talented player on many, if not all, of those Cleveland Browns teams.

The Browns were above .500 in his rookie season, and it was all downhill after that.

It is really hard to play good solid football when the surrounding cast is not that talented.

Yet he did it, in an unglamorous and often overlooked position.

For all of these reasons, Thomas will get into the Hall of Fame this week.

This will bring joy to a Cleveland Browns fanbase that has not had much to cheer about lately.

In fact, Thomas’s pending induction may be enough for the NFL to select the Browns to play in the Hall of Fame Game.

Canton is only 90 minutes from Cleveland so it would be a fitting and deserved tribute to Thomas who wants to celebrate the honor if he gets it with the entire city of Cleveland.

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