Joe Horrigan, the V.P. of Communications/Exhibits of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, tells PFT that the five-year waiting period begins the last time a player is on a regular-season NFL roster. For Owens, that was 2010, with Cincinnati.
His return to the league in 2012 doesn’t matter, since he was cut by the Seahawks during the preseason.
So Owens is only three years away from first consideration. And if he doesn’t again appear on a regular-season NFL roster, he’ll be eligible for the Hall of Fame with Brett Favre.
Though the two men never played together, Owens once said that the Eagles would be better with Favre at quarterback than Donovan McNabb, prompting McNabb to accuse Owens of “black-on-black crime.”
Owens has a history of dividing locker rooms and pitting players against each other, which could hurt him when the time comes to consider whether he should make it to Canton. His skills and numbers are undeniable; eventually, he’ll get in.
The only question is whether he gets in with Favre, or whether he lands in the potential class of 2017, with McNabb.
Hopefully the popcorn won’t be stale by then.