Terrell Owens: What's Left of His Path to the Hall of Fame

Andy EricksonContributor IJuly 1, 2011

Owens has played for five teams over his 14 year career
Owens has played for five teams over his 14 year careerKevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Terrell Owens is back in the news once again. At least this time it’s not for doing sit-ups in his driveway, calling his quarterback a homosexual or another off-field stunt. After the news this week that Owens had ACL surgery in April, there are a couple questions being asked about the high-profile wide receiver.

The first of those questions is whether or not there is an NFL team that would be interested in signing the 37-year-old. My response is why not? Last season in Cincinnati, Owens nearly had 1,000 yards receiving, along with nine touchdowns in 14 games. I’m not sure how anyone could complain about a No. 2 receiver putting up those kind of stats. So obviously production could not be a downfall.

Maybe his age would turn people away. Personally, I believe T.O. is in better shape than over half of the receivers under 30 in the league. His training regimen is among the best and no one has ever complained about Owens showing up for anything out of shape. T.O. still has a good three or four years left in the tank.

Here’s the negative we all know: his ego. Although I do believe he has begun to realize the past couple years in Buffalo and Cincinnati that if he wants to continue his career he has to at least behave a little better than in the past.

At this point in his career Owens can still be a valuable threat. The question is, where?

Seattle could use a veteran like Owens, but I just can’t see Matt Hasselbeck and T.O. getting along. After applying a franchise tag to Vincent Jackson, it doesn’t look good for Malcolm Floyd to stick around San Diego, so the Chargers could be in the market and Owens could fit in well and really put up some big numbers.  Another possibility could be the New York Jets, who may be looking for possible replacements for either Braylon Edwards or Santonio Holmes.

The bottom line is that I guarantee we see Owens on the field at some point this season. There will be some team who needs a veteran or an injury replacement.

However, if this truly ends up being the end of T.O.’s career, is he Hall of Fame worthy? I see absolutely no reason why he is not.

Jerry Rice is the only player to have more touchdowns and reception yards than T.O. Over his 14-year career Owens has averaged 75 catches for 1,101 yards and 10.5 touchdowns. Only five players in NFL history have recorded more than three seasons with at least 75 receptions, 1,101 yards and 10 touchdowns. T.O. averaged that for a decade and a half.

If those stats don’t do it for you, this will. We all know the great Hall of Fame receiver Art Monk. These stats may shock you as much as they did me. T.O. has scored 88 more touchdowns than Monk, has three more seasons with at least 1,200 yards and twice as many Pro Bowls. Owens also reached double digits in touchdowns seven times; Monk never had more than nine touchdowns. So if T.O. doesn't belong, neither does Art Monk.

Really the only argument against Owens’ Hall of Fame quest is his ego and off-field problems. Wait! Straight from the Pro Football Hall of Fame mission statement: “To honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to professional football.”

That says it right there. You should make the Hall of Fame based on what you do on the field, not off. T.O.’s on-field performance easily makes him a first-ballot Hall of Famer. If he isn’t when he retires, the Hall of Fame better change its mission statement to include “players with good character.”