The day before the Super Bowl, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2015. The class to be inducted in Canton later this summer includes Charles Haley, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Bill Polian, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tinglehoff, Ron Wolf.
There will be plenty to track in the lead up to Hall of Fame weekend, but we can also start to look ahead to next year's voting. The Hall of Fame will narrow down the list of candidates to semifinalists and then finalists, before the Super Bowl weekend vote for the Class of 2016.
It is a fairly short list of new candidates for 2016. The notable names included Brett Favre, Terrell Owens, and Alan Faneca. They will be competing with finalist holdovers from 2015 that include Kurt Warner, Orlando Pace, Morten Anderson, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison Terrell Davis, John Lynch, Don Coryell, Tony Dungy and Jimmy Johnson.
We all know Favre is getting in on the first ballot. My question is what will happen with Terrell Owens. I did some googling for discussion of 2016 candidates, and I have seen a mix of opinions on his chances. I've seen references suggesting he's a lock, a long shot, and one suggesting he has no chance.
From a pure production standpoint, it's hard to keep TO out. On the all-time leaderboards, he is sixth in receptions, second in yards, and third in touchdowns. On Pro Football Reference's rankings of career Approximate Value, TO ranks No. 25 all time. You can learn more about AV here. It's hard to assess a singular value on players, but this is one attempt.
The big question of course is his controversial behavior. As his career progressed, he seemed to grow more and more unpopular. He had several instances of being an incredibly poor teammate. It's going to be interesting to see how many media members use that as a reason to keep TO out of the Hall of Fame. I would not be remotely surprised if he did not get the votes in year one, and really it could take several years. It will be disappointing because he was such a great wide receiver. He antics grew frustrating, but he deserves recognition among the all-time greats.