Earlier this month, the Pro Football Hall of Fame narrowed down its list of candidates to 15 finalists, two senior finalists, and Eddie DeBartolo as a contributor finalist. One of the 15 regular finalists is wide receiver Terrell Owens, in his first year of eligibility.
The controversial receiver spent 15 seasons in the NFL, including eight seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, three with the Dallas Cowboys, two with the Philadelphia Eagles, and one each with the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. Although he had a tumultuous run through the NFL, he finished his time in the league with legendary numbers. He ranks second all-time with 15,934 receiving yards, and sixth all time with 1,078 receptions.
TO has a strong case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but I don't think many people would be surprised if it took him more than one year to get in. He had plenty of issues dealing with teammates, and the media members that vote could very well hold him accountable for that. I think he will eventually get into the Hall of Fame, but it will be interesting to see if it happens this first season of eligibility.
The next question is if and when TO will earn a spot in the San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame. The team launched their own Hall of Fame in 2009, and have since added a physical presence for it in Levi's Stadium. The team Hall of Fame "recognizes players, coaches and executives who have displayed one-or-more of the following qualifications: outstanding production and performance on the field, key contributions to the team's success, and/or the embodiment of the spirit and essence of the San Francisco 49ers."
It does not require all three of those qualifications. I could see TO being kept out because of that last one, but given his impressive on-field production, he is deserving of a spot in the franchise Hall of Fame. He was present at the final game at Candlestick Park, so I would think any grudges have been settled. It seems like sooner rather than later we might see TO join the franchise Hall of Fame.
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