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Former Browns LB Clay Matthews among 26 semifinalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame

By Nate Ulrich Published: November 22, 2011

Former Browns linebacker Clay Matthews is among the 26 semifinalists being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012. Matthews has advanced to the list of semifinalists for the first time, the Hall of Fame announced today.

Matthews played for the Browns from 1978-1993. He is the franchise's leader in games played (232) and sacks (76.5).

Matthews, whom the Browns picked in the first round (12th overall) of the 1978 NFL Draft, was selected to the Pro Bowl four times (1986, 1988-90). He played for the Atlanta Falcons from 1994-96 before retiring.

The list of 26 semifinalists will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists, and the results of the voting will be announced in early January. That list will increase to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee: cornerback Jack Butler, Pittsburgh Steelers (1951-59); and guard Dick Stanfel, Detroit Lions (1952-55) and Washington Redskins (1956-58).

Here is the complete list of the 26 modern-era semifinalists:


  • Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets



  • Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers



  • Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers



  • Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins



  • Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers



  • Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings



  • Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos



  • Dermontti Dawson, C – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers



  • Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1979-2000 San Francisco 49ers



  • Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers



  • Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers



  • Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys



  • Cortez Kennedy, DT – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks



  • Curtis Martin, RB – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets



  • Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons



  • Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos



  • Bill Parcells, Coach – 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys



  • Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins



  • Willie Roaf, T – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs



  • Donnie Shell, S – 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers



  • Will Shields, G – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs



  • Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League



  • Steve Tasker, ST/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills



  • Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams



  • Ron Wolf, Contributor – 1963-1974, 1978-1990 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1975-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1990 New York Jets, 1991 -2001 Green Bay Packers



  • George Young, Contributor – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League

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