Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Terrell Owens has made the cut down to one of just 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018. Owens was a finalist in 2016 and 2017, as well.
Drafted in the third round of the 1996 draft by the San Francisco 49ers out of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Owens was arguably one of the league’s most dynamic receiving threats of his era. When he retired in 2010, T.O. ranked second in receiving yards (15,934), touchdowns (153), and receptions (1,078), and was number one in popcorn sales. After wearing out his welcome in Dallas on his third NFL stop, Owens struggled to find a long-term deal and came to Orchard Park on a one-year contract in 2009. Owens hauled in 55 passes for 829 yards with five touchdowns during his one season with the Bills, including a franchise-record 98-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Jacksonville on Nov. 22.
It will be interesting to see how the committee votes now that fellow receiver Randy Moss is in the mix to compete with Owens. Both had attitude issues, which is apparently what is keeping Owens out of the Hall. Owens’ problems were largely off-field while Moss has openly admitted to not trying as hard as he could on the field at times.
Moss is among a group of six first-time eligible candidates with several you would think are locks; cornerback/safety Ronde Barber, guard Steve Hutchinson, linebackers Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, Moss, and defensive lineman Richard Seymour.
Not making the cut from 108 to 27 were a host of former Bills players and coaches, most notably special teams standout Steve Tasker. Tasker is a six-time semifinalist (2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013) but hasn’t made the cut in five years now.
Linebacker Cornelius Bennett, guard Ruben Brown, center Kent Hull, linebacker Darryl Talley, and coach Chuck Knox were all on the initial list of nominees but didn’t make the cut, as well.