BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The third time was a charm for T.O.
In his third year of eligibility, former Eagles receiver Terrell Owens has been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a part of the Class of 2018.
Owens clearly had a Hall of Fame career, but his divisive nature kept him out of Canton for the first two years he was eligible, something that definitely seemed to bother him. He called the process flawed, and it's hard to argue against that.
"Terrell Owens is one of the most talented and exciting wide receivers ever to play the game and he is very deserving of this honor," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said in a statement released by the team. "We appreciate all his contributions to the league and to one of the finest seasons in the history of our franchise."
In his 15-year career with five teams he made it to six Pro Bowls and is second all-time in receiving yards with 15,934 and third in receiving touchdowns with 153.
He's one of just two players in NFL history with at least 1,000 receptions, 15,000 receiving yards and 150 receiving touchdowns. The other is Jerry Rice.
But the numbers didn't keep him out of Canton for this long. His personality did. Just look at his brief time in Philly. His beef with Donovan McNabb and his attempt to strong-arm the franchise into a new contract when he held that shirtless, sit-up press conference in New Jersey were eventually his downfall in Philadelphia. He played just 21 regular season games with the Eagles but was suspended in 2005 and then cut.
Even McNabb thought Owens deserved the Hall of Fame nod.
"The thing about Terrell is, on the field, outstanding talent," McNabb said to CBS in 2016. "Probably one of the best receivers that I played with in the pro ranks. He's one of the best to have ever done it, and will he be a Hall of Famer? Absolutely."
When he was on the field in Philly, though, he was dynamic. In just 14 games in 2004, he caught 77 passes for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns. A leg injury kept him out of the playoffs until Super Bowl XXXIX, when he returned to catch nine passes for 122 yards in the loss to the Patriots. He certainly showed up in that game.
Owens averaged 93.5 yards per game during his time with the Eagles, the highest average in franchise history.
Owens' career started as a third-round pick out of Tennessee-Chattanooga. In his rookie season, he had 35 catches for 520 yards, but by his third NFL season, he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. He did it eight more times before his career came to a close in 2010.
During his long career, Owens first played for the 49ers, where he spent seven seasons and grew into an All-Pro player. Then he headed to Philadelphia. After his eventful two years with the Eagles, Owens played for the Cowboys, Bills and Bengals. While he hinted at a comeback after that, it never happened.