Being a likable person shouldn’t be a criteria for whether a person belongs in the hall of fame or not. Being a great football player is. Terrell Owens, regardless of what people may think of him as a person, was a great football player in the NFL for over a decade, and deserves a spot, eventually, in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He’s not retired or out of the game yet. After signing a one year, $950,000 contract with the Seattle Seahawks, Owens was cut from the team before the season began. Be it for his ability (or lack of it) or for his behavior, it seems this might have been the last chance for Owens, who last played an NFL game in 2010 for the Cincinnati Bengals, teaming up with Chad Johnson. He tore his ACL in 2011 and no one was willing to give him a chance upon his return.
Not from the NFL at least, so he played a little bit of Indoor football. Maybe if he wasn’t strapped for cash, Owens would have actually announced his retirement. Maybe it’s more than just about money. Maybe there’s still a hunger to prove he can be a factor in the NFL, at the age of 38. Maybe he just wants to improve his all time numbers, and those make him Hall of Fame worthy, despite everything that surrounds his name and reputation.
With 1078 career receptions, he’s sixth all time; 15,934 receiving yards place him second on the all time list; 153 receiving touchdowns are also number 2 all time. Likable or not, Locker room poison or not, Owens delivered on almost every team, including for the Cowboys, catching for at least 1000 yards in each of his three seasons there and grabbing TD passes in double digits.
There have been very few Wide Receivers as productive for so long as Terrell Owens has been throughout his 15 year NFL career. He loved to steal the show and be the focus of everything. That’s how it went in Jerry Rice’s final game for the 49ers, and that’s what broke down the Philadelphia Eagles after their Super Bowl year in 2004.
That inside demand for constant attention and to prove he’s the star ate up and burned every bridge he’s had with any franchise he’s played for, but it doesn’t erase everything he has achieved on the field, which is pretty much everything except for a Super Bowl ring. With or without one, Ownes deserves to inducted into the hall of fame some time in the future, hopefully sooner than later.