Brace yourselves, Cleveland — big news could be coming today.
By the end of it, we'll find out if Joe Thomas will officially go down as a first-ballot Hall of Famer in Canton.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 will be revealed during the NFL Honors in Phoenix. The ceremony begins at 9 p.m. at Symphony Hall and can be watched on NBC and NFL Network.
Thomas, whose brilliant 11-year career has long been expected to be commemorated with a bronze bust in football's most sacred building, is one of 15 other finalists up for enshrinement. He could become just the seventh offensive tackle in NFL history to enter the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
The accolades and other stats from his career suggest it should be an easy decision for the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. So, too, does his career comparison with the six other first-ballot Hall of Fame offensive tackles.
The list of finalists also includes Darrelle Revis, Dwight Freeney, Albert Lewis, Patrick Willis, Darren Woodson, Zach Thomas, Willie Anderson, Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne, Jared Allen, Ronde Barber, DeMarcus Ware, Andre Johnson and Devin Hester. Up to five can be granted enshrinement, and each enshrinee needs to receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent from the Committee's 49 members.
If Thomas secures the vote, the next date Browns fans should circle on their calendar is Aug. 5, the Hall of Fame's anticipated induction date for the Class of 2023. It would be just a one-hour drive down I-77 for fans in Cleveland, and other Browns fans from across the world would likely flock to Canton to celebrate Thomas as the 18th Browns alumnus to be inducted.
We'll find out tonight if those plans are ready to be finalized.