There is no question that Terrell Owens’ career was an interesting one. It was full of more surprises and drama than anything we have really seen before in the NFL. It decorated with question marks, excuses, and a poor attitude. It was also decorated with some of the best numbers that anyone has ever seen.
The Hall of Fame is designed for the best players to ever play the game, and there is no doubt that Terrell Owens fits these qualifications. There are many reasons why a great player might miss out on the Hall of Fame. For instance, Pete Rose is one of the greatest baseball players of all time for betting on baseball games. Barry Bonds posted quite possibly the best numbers in the history of baseball, but there is a very large asterisk sitting by those number due to steroid use. Darren Sharper was certainly headed towards an NFL Hall of Fame induction, but rape drug-related charges have eliminated any possibility of him getting in. Darrell Revis’ recent legal allegations will likely put a dampener of his chances of getting in as well.
Now let’s go over the short version of Owens’ career setbacks. He started his career off with the San Francisco 49ers where he was very successful, but faced contract issues. He ended up with the Philadelphia Eagles. His tenure with the Eagles was also successful, and he was able to help them reach their first Super Bowl. However, Owens spent a large amount of time criticizing his starting quarterback Donovan McNabb. He spent a lot of time and energy criticizing McNabb for his play and his habits, and saying that he wanted the ball more. After another disagreement over his contract, which involved Owens asking for more money. After more remarks about not only McNabb but about the Eagles front office, Owens was suspended by the team, and later released. He later became a member of the Dallas Cowboys. His tenure with the team started off well, but after the team began to struggle two years into his career, he once again began to complain about the play of his quarterback, Tony Romo, saying that if Romo were to throw him the ball more, the team would win more. The comments and continued complaining resulted in Owens once again being released. He spent the next two seasons with the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinatti Bengals.
So what is the difference between the names mentioned earlier and Terrell Owens? Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Darren Sharper, Darelle Revis, and many other players who are not in the Hall of Fame because of law breaking, and rule breaking. Terrell Owens spent his career with a bad attitude, poor morals, and the biggest mouth in the NFL. He never once broke a law and he never once broke and NFL rule. He was just mean.
This isn’t to say that Owens’ downfalls should not be held against him in the Hall of Fame voting. Owens was, to put it simply, not a good teammate. His character issues should most definitely have a say in whether or not he is inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Now let’s take a peek at his career numbers. 15,934 career receiving yards ranks second in NFL history. His 153 career receiving touchdowns are third. He is eighth all time in receptions with 1,078. These numbers put him unarguably behind Jerry Rice and Randy Moss, but nobody else. Nobody. Terrell Owens numbers very distinctly place him as the third best wide receiver in NFL history. And for some odd reason, the man has missed the Hall of Fame twice.
Okay, so maybe one could make the case that Owens’ character issues should be considered very severe and should make it very difficult for him to get in. Because, let’s be honest, he could not spend more than one year with a team without causing problems. Maybe if his numbers weren’t quite as good as they were, then his character issues should keep him out. But the fact remains, Terrell Owens in the third best wide receiver of all time, period.