SAN FRANCISCO -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame electors have been debating this year's class since early this morning. The results will be announced on national TV this evening. I have one prediction: There won't be a former Buffalo Bill elected this year.
Terrell Owens, who played one season with the Bills in 2009, is eligible for the first time. T.O. certainly has the statistics to merit inclusion among the greats. He finished with the sixth-most catches ever and is second all-time in receiving yards to Jerry Rice. He never played on a Super Bowl winner, though he played hurt and was productive with the Eagles in his one appearance in the big game.
The problems with Owens is that he was perceived as a self-serving, divisive influence within his teams and was often an intangible detriment, despite his gaudy numbers. I've talked to a number of electors and there is a lot of sentiment against putting T.O. in the Hall in his first year of eligibility. There general feeling is that he will get in eventually, but should have to wait -- as many top receivers have.
As I understand it, there are former players, including Hall of Famers, who don't believe Owens is worthy of the honor. Some players feel that in the ultimate team game, a bad teammate has no business with a bust in Canton.