MINNEAPOLIS — Terrell Owens is an outsider no more.
His status has matched his numbers.
Two years of being snubbed by voters for allegedly being a divisive force in the locker room during a 15-year NFL career gave way to common sense with Owens being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2018.
And of course, typical of Owens’ style, he got the last laugh and the last snub.
He was in Los Angeles, where he played in his league basketball game, rather than waiting for the call or the knock on the door in his Minneapolis hotel with the rest of the candidates.
But he posted a happy photo on his Instagram account. “CONGRATS to the 2018 HOF CLASS. We’re Golden!”
Owens’ fellow inductees in the Class of 2018 include receiver Randy Moss, linebacker Ray Lewis, linebacker Brian Urlacher and safety Brian Dawkins, guard Jerry Kramer, linebacker Robert Brazile and general manager Bobby Beathard.
Reached by phone, Owens declined talk about his induction but he texted: “Headed to basketball game. Plus nothing else to say.”
He is finally in. And finally golden.
49ers CEO Jed York said Owens has always been deserving.
“Terrell Owens gave our organization eight great seasons of service and some terrific memories that will live on in 49ers lore,” York said in a statement. “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.”
The campaign for Owens is finally over.
Owens’ numbers speak for themselves. He caught 1,078 passes for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns. In NFL history, he ranks eighth in receptions, second in receiving yards and third in touchdown receptions. Owens holds the NFL record for receptions in a single game (20), had nine 1,000-yard seasons and caught at least 10 touchdown passes in eight seasons.
Owens, who played with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, earned six Pro Bowl invitations and was named first-team All-Pro five times.
Only Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice had a better statistical resume.
It’s kind of ironic and fitting that Owens is going in with Moss and Lewis, who both were inducted in their first year of eligibility.
Both also had their own set of off the field issues and character concerns. But unlike Owens, those things didn’t hold them back or make them wait for getting the call to the Hall of Fame.
He not only made the final cut Saturday after a lengthy 45-minute discussion among the voters, the longest for any of the candidates, but he was voted in.
But rather than a knock on the door, he had to get the call while getting ready for a basketball game in Los Angeles.