It’s hard to believe that next year at around this same that former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward will be eligible for the Hall of Fame. While Ward might very well wind up being a first-ballot semifinalist in 2017, his chances of getting in Canton on his first try aren’t very good at all.
Saturday evening, former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his third try. Harrison, who was an eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro during his 13 years in the NFL, finished his career with 1,102 receptions for 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns and all of those numbers are much better than the ones that Ward posted during his 14 years in the league with the Steelers.
Not making the cut Saturday evening was wide receiver Terrell Owens, who like Harrison, posted better career numbers than Ward did. In other words, before Ward gets voted into Canton, Owens will likely need to go in first. On top of that, you could make an argument that Isaac Bruce should get in before Ward as well. He’s been a semi-finalist two years in a row now and headed for a third in 2017.
Should Ward indeed not get in next year, he’ll be joined in the Hall of Fame waiting room by Randy Moss in 2018. While Moss had 18 less career catches than Ward did, his receiving yardage and touchdowns scored are off the charts.
Sure, Ward was one hell of a blocker during his career and his style of play when it came to that particular phase resulted in a new rule needing to be made. Even so, that and his 1,000 career receptions and 12,083 receiving yards won’t likely be good enough for him to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2017. In fact, he might struggle to get in for several years in a row.