The Pro Football Hall of Fame voted on the class of 2017, and former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens once again came up short in the vote. This was his second year of eligibility, and second year as a finalist. He confirmed the news on Twitter a few minutes ago.
When you align expectations with reality you will never be disappointed. To my family,fans & friends I'm a Hall Of Famer. #FlawedProcess— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) February 4, 2017
From a purely statistical standpoint, TO is a first ballot Hall of Famer. He finished his career with 1,078 receptions, 15,934 receiving yards, and 153 receiving touchdowns. He ranks No. 8 all-time in receptions, No. 2 in receiving yards, and No. 3 in receiving touchdowns. He has an all-time highlight play in “The Catch II,” and he had a strong game in Super Bowl 39 (9 receptions, 122 yards) in spite of a leg fracture and torn ligaments seven weeks prior.
Unfortunately, there are some in the media (and among the fans) who will hold some of his antics against him. He generally stayed out of trouble in terms of the law, but he had serious problems with teammates that resulted in teams dumping him to not have to deal with some of these issues.
Owens was drafted by the 49ers in the 3rd round of the 1996 NFL draft and after a hopeful rookie campaign, made a name for himself in the 1997 season when the 49ers lost Jerry Rice to a torn ACL. From there Owens’ antics on and off the field made him a household name and very polarizing figure in football.
After leaving the 49ers, Owens got around the league, making stops in Philadelphia, Dallas, Buffalo, Cincinnati, and briefly Seattle. He even had a brief stint in the Indoor Football League. He finished up his NFL career with the distinction of being the only NFL player to score a touchdown against all 32 NFL teams.
At some point I think TO gets into the Hall of Fame, but it’s clear some voters are inclined to make him wait.