(WJW) – Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Thursday night.
The retired left tackle was the first announced during the 12th annual NFL Honors from Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona, where Sunday’s Super Bowl will be played.
He was among 15 modern-era finalists for the Class of 2023.
Thomas took to Twitter after the announcement, saying, “Blessed and honored beyond belief!”
Dee and Jimmy Haslam released the following statement:
“We are so proud Joe Thomas will be recognized, appropriately, as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. 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.”
Thomas was a third overall pick for the Browns during the 2007 NFL Draft. He went on to become a 10-time Pro Bowler and six-time First Team All-Pro.
He played every offensive snap for Cleveland starting in his rookie season through Week 7 in 2017.
The Browns tweeted out Thursday night, saying, “1st Ballot. Never a doubt. Joe Thomas is headed to the Hall of Fame!!!”