No more drama: Terrell Owens part of 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class


No more drama: Terrell Owens part of 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame class

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The third time was a charm for flamboyant wide receiver Terrell Owens.

Owens, a polarizing figure who spent his first eight NFL seasons with the 49ers, was voted Saturday into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Owens ranks second in the NFL in all-time receiving yards behind former teammate Jerry Rice. He made it into the Hall of Fame in his third year of eligibility.

“Terrell Owens gave our organization eight great seasons of service and some terrific memories that will live on in 49ers lore. He is one of the most accomplished wide receivers in the history of the NFL, and very deserving of this selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 49ers organization would like to congratulate him for this great honor,” 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement issued by the 49ers.

The Hall of Fame class of 2018 will also include wide receiver Randy Moss, linebackers Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens) and Brian Urlacher (Chicago Bears), and safety Brian Dawkins (Philadelphia Eagles/Denver Broncos). Linebacker Robert Brazile (Houston Oilers) and guard Jerry Kramer (Green Bay) were elected as seniors candidates. Long-time NFL executive Bobby Beathard was elected as a contributor.

Moss, whose best seasons came with the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, played two seasons with the Raiders (2005-’06) and finished his career with the 49ers in 2012. His final game was Super Bowl XLVII, the 49ers' 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in February 2013.

Beathard, considered one of the game’s top talent evaluators during his career as general manager in Washington and San Diego, is the grandfather of 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard.

The voting took place among 47 members of the board of selectors on the eve of Super Bowl 52. The newest class will be formally enshrined into the Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 4, in Canton, Ohio.

John Lynch, the 49ers’ general manager, a nine-time Pro Bowl safety during his 15-year career with Tampa Bay and Denver, did not make the cut from the 15 finalists to the final 10. Lynch was in his fifth year as a finalist.

In his first two years of eligibility, Owens was eliminated on the cut from 15 to the final 10. A maximum of five modern-era finalists are inducted into the Hall of Fame annually.

Owens was likely not elected to the Hall of Fame in his first two years of eligibility due to role in controversies in the locker rooms of the teams for which he played.

During his 15-year NFL career, Owens feuded with quarterbacks Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb and Tony Romo. But each of those quarterbacks compiled their best single-season win-loss records and set single-season highs in touchdown passes with Owens as the No. 1 receiver.

Hall-of-Fame quarterback Steve Young played just 45 games with Owens. But when Young threw for a career-high 36 touchdown passes in 1998, Owens caught 14 of them.

Owens was named to six Pro Bowls during his career, was a five-time first-team All-Pro and was a second-team All-Decade selection for the 2000s. Owens ranks second in league history with 15,934 receiving yards; third with 153 receiving touchdowns (behind Rice and Moss); fifth in overall touchdowns; and eighth with 1,078 career receptions.

After eight productive seasons with the 49ers, the club traded him to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 when a clerical error prevented him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. It was an acrimonious departure from the 49ers, and something that apparently still remains on Owens’ mind.

This week, a video was posted on TMZ on which Owens was asked what team he would represent if he were chosen for the Hall of Fame. Owens answered, “Well, it won’t be the 49ers.”

However, Owens has no choice to make.

According to the Hall of Fame’s official website: “An enshrinee . . . is not asked to ‘declare,’ nor does the Hall of Fame ‘choose’ a team under which a new member is enshrined. When elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, an individual is recognized for accomplishments as a player, coach, or contributor.”

Owens thrived during his first season in Philadelphia. He returned to play in the Super Bowl, just seven weeks after sustaining a torn ligament and a fractured lower leg. He caught nine passes for 122 yards in the Eagles’ 24-21 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX.

The following season, Owens’ relationships with McNabb and team management soured. The Eagles eventually suspended him after he appeared in just seven games in 2007 while declining to renegotiate his contract.

He appeared in 47 games the next three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before getting released following the 2008 season after he became critical of Romo’s reliance on tight end Jason Witten and then-offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s play-calling.

Owens also became a subject of controversy throughout his career with his celebratory antics.

While with the 49ers, he twice ran to the star at the middle of Texas Stadium after touchdown receptions from Garcia in a 49ers game in 2000 against the Dallas Cowboys.

After his second trip to the middle of the playing field in that game, Cowboys safety George Teague leveled Owens and a melee ensued. The 49ers suspended Owens for one game, citing conduct detrimental to the team.

Owens also pulled a Sharpie from his sock to autograph a football he caught for a touchdown against Seattle and grabbed pom-poms from a cheerleader to celebrate another touchdown.

Now, more than seven years after his playing career ended with one-year stints in Buffalo and Cincinnati, Owens has reason to celebrate once again.

Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey offers NBA stars another way to show solidarity

Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey offers NBA stars another way to show solidarity

Recently, some prominent NBA stars have come out in support of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, displaying their solidarity in different manners.

The Warriors' Kevin Durant, for instance, donned a black No. 7 jersey to and from a recent game at Oracle Arena, bearing the phrase "#IMWITHKAP" on the chest.

Steph Curry, wearing the same attire, recently posed for a photo with his son Canon.

The Lakers' LeBron James wore a nearly identical jersey getting off the plane when he and Los Angeles made the trip to Oracle to face Golden State earlier this month.

James took his support of Kaepernick a step further when he was asked about Kaepernick's reported settlement with the NFL at All-Star Weekend in Charlotte.

[RELATED: NFL compensating Colin Kaepernick for not playing football]

If Durant, Curry and James -- or anyone else for that matter -- like the black-and-white look, and want to show further solidarity for Kaepernick, well, they're in luck.

On Wednesday, Nike announced the release of a limited-edition Colin Kaepernick 'Icon' jersey -- the same one James wore as a tease getting off the plane in Oakland. As Kaepernick explained in a tweet, the jersey is dedicated to "those true to themselves on and off the field. Proudly, unapologetically and against all odds."

"We believe Colin Kaepernick is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward,” a Nike spokesperson told The Undefeated. “The jersey marks Nike’s continued product collaboration with Colin."

The NFL logo is notably absent from the jersey, which should not come as a surprise given Kaepernick's recent litigation with the league. 20 percent of all proceeds from the sale of the jerseys will go to the Know Your Rights Camp he founded, which raises awareness for youth "on higher education, self-empowerment and instruction on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios."

So, if you're in the market for a new black-and-white look, or simply want to show more support for Kaepernick, there are certainly worse ways you could spend your money.

49ers receiver Trent Taylor excited to learn from new coach Wes Welker


49ers receiver Trent Taylor excited to learn from new coach Wes Welker

As a short, slot receiver, Trent Taylor has been compared to All-Pro wideout Wes Welker for his entire life.

Now, Taylor will have the chance to learn from Welker directly, after the 37-year-old reportedly will become one of the newest members of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan's staff.

Taylor didn’t hold back when asked what his thoughts were when he first heard about Welker heading to the Bay Area.

“I thought it was freakin’ sick,” Taylor told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He’s been a baller in the NFL for 10 plus years and it’s always just cool having a guy like that coaching you. A guy with that type of experience and the guy people have compared me to my whole life.”

With only an inch difference in height between the two -- Taylor is 5'8", Welker is 5'9" -- Taylor is more than ready to learn from Welker. Tips from the receiver who led the league in receptions in three different seasons and racked up over 1,000 yards five times will be very valuable.

Even more than Welker’s physicality, Taylor believes his mental approach to the game is even more powerful.

“It’s going to be a cool opportunity to be able to work with him and hear what he has to say to me, what kind of advice he has, and I just know he has that ‘dog mentality’ that you want in a football player," Taylor said. 

“It’s cool to have that in the coaching position, and it will be cool to see the way that he coaches us and the fire that he brings into work every day. I think it’s going to be great.”

While Taylor knows what his new coach is capable of, he can’t wait be in the same room with the five-time Pro Bowler to watch Welker’s own game film.

“I haven’t been able to just sit down and break down his film,” Taylor said. “But I feel like we will have the opportunity to do that. I’ll probably press that subject pretty hard. I feel like he’s going to try to be humble about it but we need to see his film. That’s for sure.”

Welker’s level of productivity is the gold standard for a slot receiver, and that’s the goal for Taylor and the rest of the receivers room. Taylor understands its immense value.

“I think it will be good to be able to ‘learn’ somebody who played the same type of position with the same body type,” Taylor said. “You don’t run into to many guys like that in the NFL. So it will be an interesting perspective to hear from.”

Welker reportedly will be joined by former Cowboys wideout Miles Austin in the receivers room, who was hired as an offensive quality control coach. Taylor appreciates that both coaches are not that far removed from the game, which helps them be even more relatable.

“Two guys who played a long time in the NFL, and haven’t been out of the league for that many years,” Taylor said. “They’re still pretty fresh in it. It’ll be great. I think it’s going to work out great."

[RELATED: Why 49ers can't miss out on Brown or Beckham Jr. this year]

Taylor, however remains inspired by Welker's mental toughness and looks to get everything possible out of his new coach.

"I think he always wanted it more than the guy across from him," Taylor said. "And that’s what made him so great. that’s what makes anybody great. Just having that 'want to' and that fire that you’re never going to stop. That you’re not going to give up."