Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Clay Matthews Jr. was not selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2021 class.
Matthews’ daughter Jennifer shared her reaction to Saturday night’s announcement on Twitter.
“My hero. The greatest man on earth. The one who believes in me when I don’t believe in myself,” Jennifer Matthews tweeted. “He taught me about hard work, humility, integrity and that we are on this earth to serve others, not to be served. I’ll keep fighting for him to be properly honored and acknowledged.”
My hero. The greatest man on earth. The one who believes in me when I don’t believe in myself. He taught me about hard work, humility, integrity and that we are on this earth to serve others, not to be served. I’ll keep fighting for him to be properly honored and acknowledged. pic.twitter.com/K1BPx7DQFY
— Jennifer Matthews (@JennMatthews57) February 7, 2021
While Matthews was in his 20th year of eligibility, it marked the first time he had been a finalist for the Hall of Fame.
Since Matthews didn’t make the Hall of Fame in the 2021 class, he is now relegated to the senior committee for future consideration since his playing career ended 25 years ago starting in 2021.
One senior finalist is selected each year, and that player must receive 80% of the vote to be inducted.
Anyone wanting to know more about the selection process can go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s website.
The Browns selected Matthews out of USC with the 12th overall pick of the 1978 NFL Draft.
Matthews played for the Browns from 1978-1993.
From 1994-1996, Matthews played for the Atlanta Falcons before retiring.
Matthews is a four-time Pro Bowler (1985, 1987-1989) and earned a second-team All-Pro selection in 1984.
Pro Football Reference named Matthews to its 1980s All-Decade Team.
While a member of the Browns, Matthews played in three AFC Championship games during the 1986, 1987 and 1989 seasons.
In his career, Matthews compiled 69.5 sacks, 1,595 total tackles, 16 interceptions and 27 forced fumbles.
Despite the NFL not compiling stats for sacks for the first four seasons of Matthews’ career, he is still the Browns’ career leader in sacks (62).
Matthews played with a broken arm for part of the 1984 season, in which he compiled 126 tackles and a career-best 12 sacks.
In 1996, Matthews set the NFL record for the oldest player to record a sack at the age of 40 years, 282 days.
Matthews is the only non-Hall of Famer to receive induction into the Browns’ Ring of Honor.
The 2021 class includes quarterback Peyton Manning, defensive back Charles Woodson and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Manning, Woodson and Johnson got selected in their first year of eligibility.
Others who make this year’s class include guard Alan Faneca, safety John Lynch, coach Tom Flores, personnel executive Bill Nunn and wide receiver Drew Pearson.
Other finalists who didn’t make the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class include defensive end Jared Allen, defensive back Ronde Barber, offensive tackle Tony Boselli, safety LeRoy Butler, wide receiver Torry Holt, linebacker Sam Mills, defensive lineman Richard Seymour, linebacker Zach Thomas and wide receiver Reggie Wayne.
Enshrinement of the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2021 class is scheduled for Aug. 8, 2021.
The late Mac Speedie will become the 17th Browns player when he’s officially enshrined in August 2021, which will happen one year later than initially planned because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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