The Cleveland Browns will honor former linebacker Clay Matthews this fall when the team inducts him into the franchise’s Ring of Honor.
The event will take place at halftime of Cleveland’s Week 3 game against the Los Angeles Rams on September 22, which is fitting as Matthews’ son, Clay Matthews III, is now a linebacker with the Rams.
It also turns an already hot game - the Browns are making their return to Sunday Night Football and will be hosting the defending NFC champions - into one that should be a memorable night.
Matthews was part of one of the best first rounds the Browns have had in the NFL Draft as he was the 12th overall selection in the 1978 draft, the same year they selected Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome.
During his 16 seasons with the Browns, Matthews posted 76.5 sacks - still the franchise career record - 1,430 tackles, 14 interceptions and 24 forced fumbles, according to the team’s website. He also made the Pro Bowl four times, with three consecutive trips from 1987 to 1989 as a key part of a Browns team that made the playoffs five consecutive years.
He closed out his career by playing three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons,
Matthews said he is honored to join a group of players that includes the 16 Browns enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
“I mean, the Browns have a pretty good legacy of players in that group. We lived through that generation of players mostly in the ‘60s who were so successful, and to be included in that group is just an honor. To honor me at the platform and with that going on and having him here, I’m just honored. I’m honored by the Haslam family and the folks who think I’m worthy of doing it.”
Now that the Browns plan to induct Matthews in the franchise’s Ring of Honor, it is time that the Pro Football Hall of Fame gets its act together and recognizes one of the best outside linebackers to have ever played the game.