James Lofton is one of two members of the Pro Football Hall of Famers who had a Hall-of-Fame vote on Saturday in Houston.
Dan Fouts seemed to publicly express reservations this week about selecting wide receiver Terrell Owens. He said Owens received a "fair evaluation." But Lofton, a former wide receiver, stated exactly where he stands in the debate during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show.
“When Terrell Owens came up, his presenter came up,” said Lofton, referring to CSNBayArea’s Matt Maiocco, who made the opening statements in support of Owens for the Hall of Fame to the 48-member Board of Selectors.
“And I may have been the second person to chime in. I looked at what happened on that 100 by 53 1/3-yard field. And what I saw was pretty special. What I saw was Hall-of-Fame worthy.
“The thing I’m concerned about with Terrell Owens is that, is he being treated like these who used steroids in baseball. And I don’t think that should be the case at all.”
Owens, who ranked second in NFL history in receiving yards and third all-time in touchdown receptions, did not even make it past the initial round of voting on Saturday with the cut from 15 to 10 finalists. A maximum of five modern-era finalists can be selected every year.
“I had 75 touchdowns during the course of my career,” Lofton said. “The guy that we didn’t let in had 153. I can look at all of T.O.’s other numbers, but I had a hard time with that.
“Here’s a guy that I looked at, and what he did on the football field, I just thought was phenomenal. And from a person who did the same thing and really appreciates the position, I’m at a loss for words.”
One of the arguments against Owens is that he played for five different teams in his career.
“Jerry Rice was also on multiple teams,” Lofton said. “Other guys were on multiple teams. And if you’re cut or traded, it means the next person wants you.”
Rice played on three teams in the final five seasons of his career. Lofton played on five teams in his 16-year career.