The Browns' season has went off the rails in the last four weeks, but three players have individual honors to take solace in. Joe Thomas, Joe Haden, and Tashaun Gipson are all headed to the 2015 Pro Bowl.
While nine Browns players led the fan vote at their respective positions, the fan vote only accounted for only one-third of the vote, with NFL players and coaches composing the other two-thirds. The players and coaches did not buy into the Browns as highly as the fans.
Donte Whitner was selected as an alternate, but Joel Bitonio and Paul Kruger were significant snubs for the Browns.
The Pro Bowl will be held on January 25, 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona, the site of Super Bowl XLIX.
Here are your 2015 NFL Pro Bowlers:
OT Joe Thomas
For the eighth consecutive season, the fan favorite has punched his ticket to the Pro Bowl. According to Daryl Ruiter of 92.3 The Fan, Thomas is the first offensive lineman in NFL history to reach the end of the year all-star game in each of the first eight seasons of his career. The only NFL players to achieve such a feat are running back Barry Sanders and linebacker Zac Thomas.
Joe Thomas continued his dominance at left tackle this season, remaining one of the best tackles in the NFL. While the rest of the offensive line struggled following the loss of Alex Mack, Thomas remained an anchor on the left side of the line.
The veteran offensive lineman trails just Lou Groza and Jim Brown (9) for the most Pro Bowl appearances in team history.
Thomas told WKYC-TV after hearing the news:
"It's always an honor to be recognized for your hard work by the fans, coaches and your peers," Thomas said. "It's a feeling that never gets old. It means a lot to me to be selected to my eighth Pro Bowl, and it is very humbling to be mentioned with the likes of Browns greats like Jim Brown and Lou Groza."
Classy statement from one of the classiest players in the league.
CB Joe Haden
The fifth-year cornerback makes his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. Haden experienced another successful season as Cleveland's shutdown corner, recording 55 total tackles (a career-high), 17 passes defensed, and three interceptions. Haden was second only to J.J. Watt in the fan vote on defense with 407,248 votes.
Haden missed last week's game against the Panthers, but the shutdown corner fit perfectly in head coach Mike Pettine's man-coverage scheme.
Haden is undoubtedly the best piece of one of the best secondaries in the NFL this season, so his place in the Pro Bowl is well-deserved.
S Tashaun Gipson
Who could have predicted that Gipson, an unknown undrafted free agent in 2012, would become a Pro Bowler for the Browns?
The third-year safety out of Wyoming played in only 11 games this season, but few Browns players shone as brightly as Gipson this season. Before sustaining a knee injury four weeks ago, Gipson picked off six passes this season, returning one for a touchdown. Only Detroit's Glover Quin (7) has more interceptions this season.
The third-year safety also contributed 52 total tackles and one forced fumble along the way to his first Pro Bowl appearance.