The former Browns linebacker did not make the cut to 15 finalists Thursday night that will be debated during Super Bowl week among the voters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Matthews, who was among 25 semifinalists for the class of 2019, made four Pro Bowls and was named an All Pro three times in his 19-year career. This marked the third time Matthews has been a semifinalist for the Hall of Fame but he’s never advanced to the finalist round to be put up for a vote.
Matthews amassed 69.5 sacks from 1983-1996 – the statistic wasn’t counted by the league the first five years of his career, 27 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries, 16 interceptions, 1,561 tackles and played in 278 games — the 17th most in NFL history.
Matthews’ brother, offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007 and Matthews’ son, Clay Matthews III, is an All-Pro linebacker for the Green Bay Packers.
This year’s finalists are: safety Steve Atwater, cornerback Champ Bailey, tackle Tony Boselli, receiver Isaac Bruce, coach Don Coryell, guard Alan Faneca, coach Tom Flores, tight end Tony Gonzalez, guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Edgerrin James, cornerback Ty Law, free safety John Lynch, center Kevin Mawae, safety Ed Reed and defensive lineman Richard Seymour.
The 2019 Hall of Fame class will be revealed Feb. 2 in Atlanta prior to Super Bowl LIII.