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2014 could be Tim Brown's best shot at making Hall of Fame

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It is a shame Tim Brown didn't break through into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year. But this year was not his best chance. That will happen next year.

Oakland Raiders receiver, Tim Brown
Oakland Raiders receiver, Tim Brown
Getty Images

There has been a logjam at receiver for some time now between Tim Brown, Cris Carter, and Andre Reed. Jerry Rice popped in there and was, of course, inducted on his first ballot in 2010. This kept all three from having a shot that year. Last year, there was no Jerry Rice there and yet the trio still were shut out.

This year, all three receivers made the list of 15 modern era finalists which shows you how willing voters are to put any of them in the Hall of Fame. Cris Carter broke through to be the first of the three to be inducted which frees up the three-way logjam.

Each year another new crop becomes eligible which can often lead to those who have already been waiting a while to have to wait even longer behind those whom voters feel are more deserving at the time.

Next year, the newly eligible players will be one of the smallest lists of candidates in a while. The only two new names are Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy. Dungy seems a longshot but Harrison has a very good chance of getting in. Both won a Super Bowl as part of the Colts in 2006 - Dungy as head coach and Harrison as Peyton Manning's favorite target.

Adding Harrison to the mix would seem to present yet another logjam at receiver for Tim Brown and Andre Reed to contend with. And since Reed made the final cutdown to ten and Brown did not, it would appear Brown would be at a disadvantage.

This may or may not be so. Brown may have been splitting some votes with Carter among those who are unwilling to vote in two wide receivers in one year so one never knows if those votes would now go to Brown now that Carter is in.

The small size of the 2014 class is one reason for it raising Tim Brown's odds of getting in. But contributing equally to that is the size of the 2015 class. Every Hall of Fame eligible player will be praying they make it next year because if they don't, they will have a large group of Hall of Fame caliber players standing in their way the following year.

That list of new candidates includes Isaac Bruce, Edgerrin James, Walter Jones, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Orlando Pace, Junior Seau, and Kurt Warner.

The Hall of Fame could put in five first ballot Hall of Famers from just these players and it would be hard to argue. Against this group, Tim Brown doesn't stand a chance.

In 2016 Brett Favre and Terrell Owens will be eligible. Favre is a first ballot Hall of Famer and if one were to go by Owens' numbers alone, he is as well. If no other receivers were to make it in the meantime and you add Owens to the pile, it would get very crowded at the position.

So, while it may be good news that Tim Brown's best shot didn't just pass him by, it would become very bad news if he were to be passed up again next year.