Joe Thomas Elected Into The Pro Football Hall Of Fame

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns

Photo: (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND - Joe Thomas was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday on the first-ballot just five years after he retired.

Thomas played eleven seasons for the Browns after being their first round pick in the 2007 draft after playing college football at the University of Wisconsin. He became just the seventh modern-era offensive tackle in NFL history to be inducted on his first year of eligibility. He will be the 18th Browns alumnus to be enshrined in Canton.

“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.”

Thomas was voted to ten Pro Bowls during the first ten seasons of his NFL career, the only offensive lineman in NFL history to do so. He also was on the field for 10,363 consecutive snaps which is the longest by any player in modern NFL history.

“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 will be enshrined in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this summer.

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