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T.O. could be in the H.O.F. as soon as 2016

Owens Getty Images

Receiver Terrell Owens says that if he doesn’t play in 2013 he’ll retire.  If he doesn’t play in 2013, he’ll have to wait only two years for his first shot at immortality.

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.

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37 Responses to “T.O. could be in the H.O.F. as soon as 2016”
  1. goraidersgospurs says: Jun 7, 2013 4:09 PM

    First

  2. Slim Charles says: Jun 7, 2013 4:11 PM

    You just know whiny sportswriters are going to make him wait a couple years, even though if it wasn’t for characters like him a robot could just do game writeups.

  3. turkjones says: Jun 7, 2013 4:11 PM

    T.O. is clearly an absolute knucklehead but he should still be headed to the HOF downhill and on roller skates.

    Between the lines, he’s the best WR of his generation and always gave 110% on the field.

  4. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 7, 2013 4:13 PM

    Anyone that doesn’t vote Terrell Owens on the first ballot does not deserve a vote. Like him or not he’s one of the greatest players of his generation at any position.

    Unless we want the Hall Of Fame to become a politically correct popularity contest.

  5. genericcommenter says: Jun 7, 2013 4:18 PM

    Favre is a HOF player.

    T.O. is a HOF level player who might have to wait because of his issues/perception.

    McNabb isn’t a HOF player.

  6. kanemoney says: Jun 7, 2013 4:29 PM

    I need stats.
    Someone convince me with some numbers.

  7. jjb0811 says: Jun 7, 2013 4:37 PM

    Sorry, but there’s more than stats for HoF. Being a jerk is a OK. But when you play your way out of SF, Balt (failed trade via whining), Philly, Dallas, & Seattle (probably missed a team or 2) should tell you all you need to know. Most franchises put up w/ headaches if they’re Hof”era but when 4 teams dump you, it should resonate w/ the voters.

  8. runtheball says: Jun 7, 2013 4:38 PM

    McNabb has no business in the HOF. If he is even on the preliminary list after the first vote, they should take a wrecking ball to it.

  9. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Jun 7, 2013 4:50 PM

    jjb0811 says: Being a jerk is a OK. But when you play your way out of SF, Balt (failed trade via whining)

    Please- the Niners trying to trade T.O. when they did is like the Jets trying to trade Tom Brady.

    Owens played for five teams- one less than Jerry Rice.

  10. bookofelisha10 says: Jun 7, 2013 5:00 PM

    1st ballot it should really be arguable. i couldnt stand the guy and nothing put a smile on my face for a longer period of time than seeing TO cry THATS MY QUARTERBACK after strahan and eli destroyed dallas in dallas and sent jones and his ken doll face packing.. BUT

    he was great. came back from a broken leg after a few weeks to be the best player in the superbowl even though they lost. his mouth led him out earlier than he probably should of went, and i wont cry for him but hes 1st ballot.

  11. 44mpo says: Jun 7, 2013 5:05 PM

    Please, don’t tarnish the H.O.F. by allowing him in there. Especially when there are so many worthier players that have been waiting for years.

  12. Rick Spielman is a Magician says: Jun 7, 2013 5:05 PM

    If Cris Carter had to wait a few years, Terrell Owens should have to wait a few years.

  13. gafraidh says: Jun 7, 2013 5:09 PM

    I would need to see the rest of the competition. I am not a fan of keeping some one out to deliver a message. They are either Hall worthy, or they are not. Are they in the top of their availability class is the question. IMHO .

  14. jjb0811 says: Jun 7, 2013 5:21 PM

    Mr/Mrs Butt if you think TO stands next to Rice, you never saw Rice in his prime. Rice was upset about his diminished role w/ Oak and asked to be traded. He was sent to Seattle and realized it was over. Yeah, he went to training camp in Denver but was there a week maybe 2 before stepping aside as the greatest of all time (and argued greatest of all players regardless of position).

  15. maximusprime107 says: Jun 7, 2013 5:24 PM

    I thought you had to file for retirement in order for the 5 year wait period to begin?

  16. romoscollarbone says: Jun 7, 2013 5:33 PM

    I have a hard time thinking, that TO’s big mouth should keep him out of the HOF on the first ballot. While he’s an ego maniac. The only person he truly hurt was himself.

    He was an amazing WR who could’ve been even greater if he always watched the ball into his hands. I think he celebrated many TDs before he ever scored them, and that led to his propensity for drops.

    It’s a shame he did have an ah-ha moment somewhere around 30 yrs old when he still had time to rehab his public image.

  17. helinhater says: Jun 7, 2013 5:34 PM

    I despise the guy.

    But for people to vote that he should never make the HoF is either blatant ignorance, blatant retardation, or blatant racism.

    He’s 2nd in career reception yards.

    3rd in career touchdowns.

    And 6th in career receptions.

    To put up those numbers AND play on the amount of teams he did actually says more for his production than anything else.

    You dont have to like him. But unlike some other HoF’s, he never cut a teammates throat with a pair of scissors/abused cocaine (Irvin). He wasn’t a drug addict (LT). He never played with one of the greatest QBs of all time (Marvin Harrison).

    To suggest he shouldnt be in the Hall on the first ballot is simply absurd. So if that’s your opinion, that’s fine.

    Just understand you’re ignorant.

  18. malvaren18 says: Jun 7, 2013 5:43 PM

    T.O should of learned to pick his battles, he would still be in the NFL making money!

  19. nmking26 says: Jun 7, 2013 5:49 PM

    The fact that “Never” is winning is laughable and makes me question the sanity of PFT readers.

    T.O is #3 in Touchdowns. #2 in Yards. And #6 in Receptions.

    If a player doens’t make first ballot based on that, then no one deserves to be a first ballot hall of famer.

    The Hall of fame isn’t about likeability. It’s about production. And being one of the top 3 most productive WRs in football history should earn you a spot in the hall on your first try.

  20. qdog112 says: Jun 7, 2013 6:34 PM

    If Owens hasn’t earned 1st ballot HOF, there is no HOF. All you haters shut up!!! The man is still a top 15 WR – today.

  21. rajbais says: Jun 7, 2013 6:50 PM

    Anyone who voted never is more unethical than Owens could ever be.

    The only reason they’d have is “oh I thought he was a jerk or a bad teammate” when neither should matter.

    We know about why the “jerk” argument shouldn’t hold up, but the teammate argument should be prohibited in voting.

    The quality of teammate that one was will involve “off the field” matters literally. If it’s off the playing surface it’s off the field.

    Locker rooms and press conferences are all off the field literally and should not be used against Owens.

    Plus, how did one’s teammate quality help him be a better player.

    It didn’t. His play on the field did and that should be the only root of one’s candidacy.

    The concept of teammate quality and caliber of player going together makes no sense and if Owens doesn’t get in when he should he will be a victim of the process.

  22. motorbreath2000 says: Jun 7, 2013 7:24 PM

    T.O. has the stats necessary to be a first ballot HOFer, period. No discussion needed. However, stats are NEVER the only requirement for HOF inclusion. I watched his whole career. He imploded THREE locker rooms (SF, PHI, DAL). His selfish, me-first attitude held back his teams. I don’t get caught up in his production because I saw what his productivity led to. His repeated drops and then subsequent blaming of everyone else (qb, coach, online, other players, fans, media, etc) in each stop made himself divisive and divided his locker rooms. For this reason, he SHOULD NOT be a HOFer. He didn’t help his teams win, he hurt them. That alone should prevent entry.

  23. 11inthebox says: Jun 7, 2013 7:34 PM

    “Dividing a locker room.” Yet another cliché people resort to in sports talk. How exactly does a guy “divide” a lockeroom? Do the players take sides and brawl based on their opinions of a certain player?
    No, they don’t. They all have jobs to do. That’s what they care about.
    But if people feel it makes for better conversation, keep on with the “dividing the lockeroom” talk.

  24. gurnblanstonreturns says: Jun 7, 2013 7:36 PM

    The abasement of the Hall of Fame continues this year with the inclusion of Cris Carter. The place should be renamed the Hall of Any Very Good Players So Madden Video Game Fans Will Care. A true Hall of Fame player should have superior production as measured by stats plus ample longevity plus more intangible contributions to the game. A player should have demonstrably raised the level of his team or he is merely an individual performer in a team game.

    Players like Owens and Carter fail on this last score. They are simply very good individual players who benefited from the most pass-happy rules in the game’s history. Their inclusion mollifies younger NFL fans with players they know, but it cheapens the level of greatness the Hall should represent.

  25. keepyerstickontheice says: Jun 7, 2013 8:09 PM

    Not for lack of trying, but no SB ring. No ring, no first ballot. Sorry.

    Not one of the sportswriters who vote are going to stand up and argue for him based on numbers alone. He was never a team player, and took waay to many plays off.

    For an entire season, if the pass didn’t hit him in the hands, he did not even try to catch it. Or play defense, he let more than a couple of picks go uncontested.

    Now he has to get in the back of a very long line.

  26. peopletrains says: Jun 7, 2013 9:45 PM

    Knucklehead but I think he could still be productive in the league at his age. Impeccable shape.

  27. myosin10 says: Jun 7, 2013 10:53 PM

    His numbers speak for themselves. If it want for a torn ACL a few years ago dude would still be an elite WR in the NFL today!! He is a physical freak!!! He was fun to watch too, I loved him and most of his team mates loved him too except for a few QBs but he was never disliked by teammates. Remember the sharpie? Or when he posed on the Dallas star? How about when he did the ray Lewis dance. Love this guy and he was a dominant WR period

  28. itooamamerica says: Jun 7, 2013 11:11 PM

    Never is not actually winning. It has the highest percentage ,but all the others combine believe he should eventually get in the HOF. However, I believe he is first ballot.

  29. rabidbillsfan says: Jun 8, 2013 12:45 AM

    @gurn

    it’s funny you mention stats… did you not read any of the prior posts about his production? 2,3 and 6 in top WR statistical categories isn’t enough for the HOF, or HOVG in your opinion? And who said Carter and Ownes were part of the “pass happy” era?? The current rules didnt’ take effect until after the playoff game between the Colts and Pats where Ty Law absolutely manhandled the Colts WR corp. so Polian suggested the rule change, ’04 was it? Carter had been washed up by almost 5 years at that time, and retired, and Owens had already seperated himself as a receiving threat among his peers. It’s a travesty that Ray Guy and Steve Tasker will probably never get in, but to hold a guy like TO, CC, and Even Randy Moss when the time comes out of the HOF is pure idiocy. Also, if I hear the, “no ring” argument one more time, I’ll lose my mind. Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Bruce Smith, Curtis Martin, Barry Sanders, the list goes on of amazing players who got in ringless, so drop it.

  30. slugbaitspace says: Jun 8, 2013 2:37 AM

    I’m leaning towards not getting in, but…I have a morbid curiosity for what he would say during his induction speech.

  31. silvercutlery says: Jun 8, 2013 3:29 AM

    Here’s the thing about the HoF, each player has someone to go pitch for his induction.

    I don’t think anyone will really put in a convincing case.

    At the end of the day, IMHO no one really wants to put a strong case forward, and no one on the jury wants to vote him in.

  32. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Jun 8, 2013 9:37 AM

    Okay, it’s irrefutable that T.O. can be an epic pain the backside – but the 43% of you who say T.O. should never get in the HOF are unable to separate your personal resentment from one’s qualifications for enshrinement.

    It’s hard to support some of the stuff that he’s done OFF the field – but like it or not, T.O.’s years of stellar performance merits a bust in Canton. No subjectively held personal dislike should skew that simple truism.

  33. leanback360 says: Jun 8, 2013 1:30 PM

    Would love to T.O enshrined than announce he’s still open for playing

  34. JSpicoli says: Jun 8, 2013 2:42 PM

    How much do you think a mustard blazer will fetch on eBay?

  35. nytroutdog says: Jun 8, 2013 7:27 PM

    From the NFL Hall of Fame website: “When elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an individual is recognized for his accomplishments as a player, coach, or contributor.”

    TO, with his career numbers, should be in.

  36. raiders757 says: Jun 8, 2013 9:40 PM

    T.O has the numbers, but there are far too many great players much more more deserving to get in long before him.

  37. gadzod says: Jun 9, 2013 10:53 AM

    He shouldn’t be considered until Tim Brown and Andre Reed get in.

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