It’s two years later than it should have been, but finally former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens has been voted into the Pro Football Hall of fame. unfortunately, reports are coming out that former All Pro safety and current 49ers general manager John Lynch came up short in the balloting.
Owens stated his election on his Instagram page.
This marked TO’s third year as a finalist. From a purely statistical standpoint, Owens was 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 (nine receptions, 122 yards) in spite of a leg fracture and torn ligaments seven weeks prior.
Unfortunately, voters held some of his antics against him come ballot time. He generally avoided legal trouble in, but he had serious problems with teammates that resulted in teams dumping him to rid themselves of the issues.
Owens was drafted by the 49ers in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft and after a solid rookie campaign, made a name for himself in the 1997 season when the 49ers lost Jerry Rice to a torn ACL. There were issues between Owens and Jeff Garcia, and eventually, TO departed the 49ers via trade to the Philadelphia Eagles (after an aborted trade to the Ravens).
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.
Meanwhile, this year marked Lynch’s fifth time as a Hall of Fame finalist. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and three-time All Pro honoree. He was a critical part of the turnaround in Tampa Bay that culminated in a Super Bowl victory. Following his retirement, Lynch spent nine years as a TV analyst. This past year he joined the 49ers as general manager, and had a strong first year in the process of rebuilding the franchise. Given his integral nature to the Bucs rebuild, it is not surprising what he has brought to the 49ers.
Things don’t get much easier for Lynch in 2019. Former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is on the ballot. It should just be the best players getting in, but sometimes voters are not comfortable voting for two players from the same position.