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Former Browns LB Clay Matthews a semifinalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2019 class


Former Browns linebacker Clay Matthews made the cut as one of 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2019 class.

It's the third time Matthews, who starred in Cleveland from 1978-93, has been a semifinalist, the most recent being in 2017. All but five of this year's semifinalists have reached this point in the process in the past.

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.

The Hall of Fame began its work on this year's class in September with a list of 103 former players and coaches, many of whom had Browns ties. The list will be trimmed to 15 in early January before it is discussed with the selection committee during Super Bowl weekend.

The Class of 2019 will be enshrined Aug. 3, 2019, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

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.