Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward recorded 1,000 career receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns before he hung up the cleats. He finished as arguably the best wide receiver in Steelers’ history. Ward is one of the most beloved and hated players in the past decade due to his hard-nosed blocking and winning smile, but the two-time Super Bowl Champion will have a hard time getting into the Hall of Fame when his time of eligibility comes.
One wide receiver finally had his name called to be enshrined in the NFL‘s highest honor in his eighth year of eligibility. Andre Reed is one of the seven men who will be inducted this August. Reed’s 16 seasons resulted in 951 career catches for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. Reed and the Buffalo Bills went to four Super Bowls together but came up short every time.
Two other wide receivers did not get so lucky. Receivers Marvin Harrison and Tim Brown were both not chosen to be inducted in the class of 2014. Harrison is presumed to be getting a call within a year or two after a 13-year career registering 14,580 receiving yards and 128 touchdowns. It took Brown 17 years to end his career with 14,934 yards and 100 touchdowns.
In 2015, both Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt will become eligible. Bruce is fourth all-time in receiving yards with 15,208 while Holt is 12th with 13,382. Both receivers made up what was known as the “Greatest Show on Turf.”
The year 2016 brings Terrell Owens. The five-time All-Pro finished just second to Jerry Rice with 15,934 yards and third in touchdowns at 153. In the next two years, Ward and Randy Moss will be eligible. Moss is second to Rice in receiving touchdowns — 156.
Ward does have a Super Bowl MVP over everyone which may influence the voters to think different but it seems unlikely. With Harrison, Brown, Holt, Bruce and Owens going to be on the waiting list, so will Ward.
Ward’s former teammate, Jerome Bettis, has been a finalist since 2010, but he has yet to get the nod from voters. In the meantime, Ward will continue to be on NBC Sports with the Sunday Night Football Crew.