Terrell Owens was among the 18 Hall of Fame nominees but will not be part of the 2016 class. Many were asking if Owens was worthy to be called a first ballot Hall of Famer. Former 49ers, Raiders, and Jets Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott says no.
"Will he get in the Hall of Fame? Yes He will be in the Hall of Fame at some point. Will he be a first ballot Hall of Famer? I don't know," Lott told David Fucillo of Niners Nation. "And that's hard for me to say, because he had the credentials. He's worked his way to have all the credentials that you would need. But is he better than Tim Brown? No. And so for me, when I start comparing him to all the guys I know that have played the game, good football player. Good football player. Talented football player. A guy that I really enjoyed watching, a guy that I really admire, a guy that I know a little bit, met him a couple times. I had some of those little nugget moments in your life when you meet someone and think, yea, he's gonna be there."
As Lott says, he wouldn't put Owens ahead of Tim Brown. And Brown had to wait several years of eligibility before he finally broke through and got into the hall. For Owens to get in first ballot, that would be suggesting he is more deserving than the great Tim Brown. And I agree he is not.
Owens' stats are extremely good, and he has exactly 1000 more yards than Tim Brown. But they are technically not from the same era. When Owens entered the league in 1996, Tim Brown was in his 9th NFL season.
While Owens' on-field performance makes him worthy of the Hall of Fame, his attitude and locker room presence cast a shadow on those credentials. Not making it in on the first ballot was the correct call by the Hall of Fame committee.