This season’s Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee class mostly consisted of defensive players, but it was also a coronation for former Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas.
He talked about the story of how he was notified that he had been voted to be inducted into Canton, Ohio, which involved a visit from another Hall of Fame left tackle, Walter Jones.
The Browns may not have had much success since their current iteration began play in 1999, but Thomas helped keep them at least somewhat competitive during that time.
He broke in as a rookie in 2007, and he immediately was elected to appear in the Pro Bowl while finishing second in the Offensive Rookie of the Year balloting.
With his help, Cleveland improved from 4-12 the previous year to a 10-6 record while coming very close to making the playoffs.
In his 11 pro seasons, Thomas made the Pro Bowl every season except for his final one, and he also made it onto the All-Pro first-team six times.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) February 10, 2023
He is considered one of the best players to ever play his position, and to this day, he is one of the more popular former Browns players, not to mention one of the more popular ex-pro athletes in Northeast Ohio.
During his playing days, Thomas, who is 6-foot-6, weighed over 300 pounds, but in the last few years, he has undergone a bodily transformation.
He has lost at least 50 pounds, as he has taken up yoga and swim training while changing his diet to one that is healthier and more sustainable.