Terrell Owens is one of the most polarizing players in NFL history, but from a purely statistical standpoint, the five-time All-Pro should have been a shoe-in to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Owens is second in all-time receiving yards (15,934), third in career receiving touchdowns (153), and eighth in receptions (1,078), yet Owens was surprisingly snubbed for a second consecutive year after becoming eligible in 2016. Hall of Famer and selection committee member Dan Fouts told 104.5 The Zone that he thinks Owens was given a fair shot by the committee, but his reputation as a bad teammate kept him out of Canton.
“I think his numbers are very worthy, but again on the other side of it, I think his actions on and off the field, on the sidelines, in the locker room, and the fact he played for so many teams and was such a great player. The question that comes back to me is if he was such a great player, why did so many of those teams get rid of him? And I think we all know the answers.
“I think he did receive a fair evaluation of his career, both pros and cons. But obviously ripping the Hall of Fame in the process, what good is that going to do? I just don’t understand that. I didn’t understand a lot of things he did in his career.”
A number of current and former NFL players were shocked when Owens was left out of the class of 2017. Shannon Sharpe said on “Undisputed” that he believes Owens is the second-best receiver to ever play the game, and that he considers it an “injustice” Owens wasn’t a first-ballot selection. Sharpe also called for living Hall of Famers to be a part of the voting process. Currently, only two Hall of Fame players are able to vote on each class out of 48 total selectors, most of whom are members of the media.