The first step to Canton for Joe Thomas is officially complete.
Thomas, the 10-time Pro Bowler and legendary former Browns offensive tackle, is on the ballot for the Pro Football Hall of Fame vote for 2023, the first year he's been eligible since he retired in 2017.
Thomas is considered one of the best offensive linemen in NFL history after an illustrious 11-year career in Cleveland where he started 167 games and became the only offensive lineman in league history to be voted to 10 straight Pro Bowls. He was a six-time first-team All-Pro and never missed a snap once his career began after the Browns drafted him third overall in 2007. His streak of 10,363 consecutive snaps is believed to be the longest in league history.
Thomas is one of 129 Modern-Era nominees on the 2023 ballot. He joins running back Chris Johnson, offensive linemen Jahri Evans, defensive lineman Dwight Freeney, linebackers NaVorro Bowman and James Harrison, defensive backs Kam Chancellor and Darrelle Revis and punter Shane Lechler as notable players up for their first year of consideration.
If inducted, Thomas would become the 18th player in Browns franchise history to have a bust in Canton and first since Mac Speedie was posthumously inducted in 2020.
The Browns honored Thomas last Sunday at halftime by officially inducting him into their Legends program.
Other players with Browns ties on the ballot include Jake Delhomme, Jamal Lewis, Eric Metcalf, Andre Rison, Lomas Brown, Willie McGinest, Josh Cribbs and Clyde Simmons, who didn't play for the team but was an assistant coach from 2017-2018.