CLEVELAND — The Pro Football Hall of Fame released their initial list of 122 modern-era nominees for the Class of 2020 on Thursday, and several former Browns players made the cut, including Josh Cribbs and fan-favorite Clay Matthews.
While this is Cribbs’ first nomination, Matthews has been up for induction numerous times, making it to the semifinals more than once but missing the final selection each time.
The linebacker, who played for the Browns from 1978 to 1993, was selected by the Browns with the 12th overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft. Matthews played in 232 games for Cleveland, recording 1,430 tackles, 14 interceptions, 24 forced fumbles, 13 fumble recoveries and 62 sacks.
Matthews was a star on the 1980 Kardiac Kids roster, helping Cleveland make it to the playoffs for the first time since 1972 in a must-win Week 16 game against the Bengals. Unfortunately, that win was followed with the Red Right 88 game, an unfortunate end to an unforgettable season.
Despite not making the final cut in his past appearances, 2020 could be Matthews' year. It’s the NFL’s 100th anniversary—a special induction year for a very special player.
No matter what happens on Selection Saturday, Matthews will still have at least one induction this year as the legendary linebacker will be inducted into the Browns’ Ring of Honor during halftime of next week’s game against the Rams.