Randy Moss will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the first time when the 48-person committee meets one day before U.S. Bank Stadium hosts Super Bowl LII in February 2018.
The former Vikings star wide receiver ranks second all-time in touchdown receptions (156), third in receiving yards (15,292), and 15th in receptions (982). He is considered by many to be among the top three receivers in NFL history only behind the greatest of all-time Jerry Rice.
This should make Moss a shoo-in as a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection, right?
Terrell Owens’ latest snub from the Hall of Fame, however, argues Moss’ immediate enshrinement might not be so certain.
The committee did not select Owens for the second straight year for reasons believed to be associated with his reputation as a bad teammate. His 15,937 receiving yards rank second all-time behind Rice and he dominated his position for 15 years in the NFL. But it is not enough, so far.
Our veteran NFL writer Mark Craig, who is part of the committee, wrote that the group spent 34 minutes discussing Owen’s credentials. The details of the conversations, though, are confidential.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who is also on the committee, wrote “The fact that Owens didn’t even make the cut from 15 down to 10 indicates the degree of resistance among the 48-person selection committee. As stunning as it may seem given his dominance as a player, those results indicate he could be waiting quite some time for a gold jacket. Many of his contemporaries privately and publicly expressed outrage, at not only Owens' omission but the fact that it appeared to highlight a highly political selection process.”
Like Owens, Moss is known for similar issues with teammates and coaches, hinting he might face a similar resistance to earning a spot in Canton, Ohio.
Mike Golic, co-host of the ESPN radio show “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” said Monday, “Could you imagine if Moss didn’t get in next year? [If the voters] want to do their little thing where we think he’s too selfish. And then those two [Owens and Moss] keep going down the list. It’s ridiculous.”
Mike Greenberg replied, “I think that’s a very real possibility. ... Their numbers are so close to identical. It’s ridiculous.”
Former quarterback Donovan McNabb argued that Moss improved his image when he played with New England late in his career and most recently as a TV analyst.
“You’ve seen a different side of Randy. For T.O. nothing has ever changed,” McNabb said.
Golic challenged Greenberg to pick who was the better receiver, Moss or Owens, and both settled on Moss.
“I would choose Moss. But it would be by an eyelash,” Greenberg said. “And T.O. would definitely be in [the Hall of Fame, too.]”
Golic added, “We know Randy Moss had his issues as well. He had different kinds of issues. He did have a little better sort of finish when he went to New England.”
A video surfaced Monday that should help defend Moss when the debate begins next February. Moss embraced Tom Brady's parents after the Patriots won Super Bowl LI Sunday, and Brady's mom, who has been battling health problems, shared a long hug with the former NFL star.