Cleveland Browns Legendary Running Back Jim Brown Dead At 87

Some sad news to pass along today. Hall of Fame RB Jim Brown, arguably the greatest runner in NFL history, is dead at 87. According to the Associated Press, Brown died Friday at his home in Los Angeles.

Brown’s wife Monique shared this message on Instagram a short time ago.

The sixth overall pick of the 1957 NFL Draft, Brown made nine Pro Bowls and eight All-Pro teams. He saw immediate success, winning Rookie of the Year and MVP in his first season in the league. He would go on to win two more MVPs, tied for third-most in league history only behind QBs Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.

Even before the NFL, Brown was a star runner at Syracuse and eventually inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Once he got to the NFL, Brown rushed for 1000+ yards in seven of the nine seasons he played. Over that time, he led the league in rushing in eight seasons. In 1958, he rushed for a career-high 17 touchdowns; in 1963, he rushed for 1,863 yards in just a 14-game season, an average of more than 133 yards per game.

Brown retired early after his age 29 season. He left the game as the NFL’s then all-time leading rusher and was an obvious first ballot Hall of Famer when eligible in 1971. He ended his career with 12,312 rushing yards and 106 touchdowns while finding the end zone another 20 times via pass receptions.

His 1,985 career rushing yards against the Steelers were the third-most he had against any team, only trailing the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Cardinals.

In 1983, Brown said he considered unretiring in order to prevent Franco Harris from breaking his rushing record. Brown never did and Harris fell short of his mark by about 200 yards.

Brown is on the short-list of the greatest running backs in football history, joining a group of names like Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, and Eric Dickerson. But almost all who witnessed Brown play believe he takes the top spot. He’s also widely considered one of the best players to ever play the game, taking the #2 spot only behind WR Jerry Rice in the league’s 2016 rankings.

After retiring, Brown became an actor, best known for his role in The Dirty Dozen, and maintained his celebrity presence, though he was seen less often in his final years. He also became a civil rights activist during the 1960s and 1970s. Our best wishes to the Brown family and the NFL community on a very sad day.

Moments ago, the Cleveland Browns sent out this tweet remembering Brown’s life and legacy.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has issued the following statement after Brown’s death.

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