Earlier this month, the Pro Football Hall of Fame revealed its Class of 2017. One notable omission that took many by surprise: Terrell Owens. The five-time First-Team All-Pro missed the cut again in his second year of eligibility, thus his candidacy rolls over to 2018 -- a year when Randy Moss' name will appear on the ballot for the very first time. These were two of the most dominant receivers of their era, as evidenced by their (eerily similar) raw numbers:
Owens (15 seasons): 1,078 catches for 15,934 yards (14.8 ypc) and 153 touchdowns.
Moss (14 seasons): 982 catches for 15,292 yards (15.6 ypc) and 156 touchdowns.
So, who deserves to get the nod in the HOF Class of 2018: Owens, Moss or both?
As to when they go in, that is hard to say. The committee has a tough job each year deciding who gets the nod. There are many great candidates. Art Monk had to wait until his eighth year of eligibility -- and that's a guy who, upon retirement, ranked second in career receptions (940) and had the record for most consecutive games with a catch (183). Monk was a leader on three Super Bowl championship teams. Neither Moss nor Owens owns a single ring.
I also think Randy Moss should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. It's amazing how he took the league by storm in his rookie season, scoring 17 receiving touchdowns. We all knew he was going to go deep, and he still beat double- and triple-teams. If you watch the tape from that Dallas game, you see Randy do things that most receivers can't do. He caught a deep ball. Then took a short pass to the house. While everyone is taking two steps, he's taking one gallop.
Honestly, if both of these guys dedicated themselves in the offseason, they would still be effective in the NFL to this day.
But if we're basing it on numbers, both guys should get in. Owens had equal numbers -- and better in some categories -- when compared to Moss. But also, I don't think there should be a limit on the number of players who get in each year. If there are 15 guys who should get in, they should all get in. If there's one the next year, there should be just one.
But in all reality, I think they both should get in. They had two running backs get in this year, so why not have two receivers get in next year? But, there are some others -- Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, among others -- who are eligible, so somebody will probably get bumped. With all of T.O.'s social media posts following this year's announcement, the voters could possibly make him wait again.
But let me be perfectly clear on this: Moss was the greatest wide receiver I have ever seen. He could do it all. He had his issues, but who knows what could have happened had he been drafted to the NFL's most well-run organization like Jerry Rice was.