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Former Browns Clay Matthews, Frank Minnifield, Eric Metcalf among 2017 Hall of Fame class nominees

Clay Matthews, Frank Minnifield and Eric Metcalf are among the 94 players and coaches up for nomination for the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

The trio of Browns stars are among 94 former players and coaches being considered for the honor, which will be voted on by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee during its annual selection meeting before Super Bowl LI in February.

The list of nominees will be trimmed to 25 semifinalists by November and 15 finalists by January.

Matthews, who played for the Browns from 1978-1993, is considered one of the league's greatest linebackers and played in 278 total games, the 17th most in NFL history. In that span, he amassed 1,561 tackles, was a three-time All Pro and received four Pro Bowl nods. Matthews is also the father of Clay Matthews III, an All-Pro linebacker for the Green Bay Packers and brother of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews.

Minnifield, who starred alongside fellow cornerback Hanford Dixon from 1984-92, was a four-time Pro Bowl selection and first-team All Pro in 1988. He was also part of the NFL's 1980s All-Decade team and inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Metcalf played six seasons in Cleveland from 1989-1994 and was one of the Browns' most talented offensive weapons, staring at running back, wide receiver and kick returner.

Matthews, Minnifield and Metcalf are all members of the Browns' Legends Club, which honors the franchise's all-time best players.

The Browns have placed 16 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.

Other nominees for the Class of 2017 include first-year eligible players in quarterback Donovan McNabb, running back LaDainian Tomlinson and wide receiver Hines Ward.

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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