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Clay Matthews named semifinalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2017 class

Browns legend Clay Matthews is one of 26 semifinalists nominated to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2017.

This is the second time Matthews, who played for the Browns from 1978-1993 and later the Atlanta Falcons, has reached it this far in the process. He was also a semifinalist in 2012.

Matthews, considered one of the league's best linebackers and most durable players, played in 278 games — the 17th most in NFL history — and amassed 1,561 tackles over that span. Matthews was a three-time All Pro and received four Pro Bowl nods. His brother, offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. Matthews' son, Clay Matthews III, is an All-Pro linebacker for the Green Bay Packers.

Matthews and former Browns stars Frank Minnifield and Eric Metcalf were among 94 players and coaches originally nominated in September for this year's class.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, which will finalize the group during its annual selection meeting before Super Bowl LI in February, will trim the list to 15 finalists in January.

The Browns have placed 16 members in the Hall of Fame, including Jim Brown, Paul Brown, Lou Groza, Otto Graham, Paul Warfield and Ozzie Newsome. The total ranks sixth-most among all 32 NFL teams.

Finalists need to receive at least 80 percent of the votes from the 46-person selection committee, and a minimum of four people have to be inducted each year.

The class is set to be enshrined Aug. 5 as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Hall of Fame Week.

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