Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wide receivers in Canton: Tough nut to crack

Unless your name is Jerry Rice, it seems as though great-but-not-as-great-as-Rice wide receivers must wait their turn for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

There is no other explanation as to why Cris Carter and Tim Brown aren't heading to Canton this summer. It's even more head scratching neither made the cut from 15 to 10 before the final seven inductees were announced on Saturday.

Even more baffling is the fact Andre Reed, the longtime standout receiver for the Bills, made the final 10 over Carter and Brown. Sorry, but Reed isn't in the latter two's class.

So what will it take for Carter and Brown? Apparently, the answer is time. Both will get in, but the fact it's taken several years now for both doesn't add up.

Carter's stats are awesome: 1,101 catches, 13,899 yards, 130 touchdowns, two seasons of 122 catches, nine straight 1,000 seasons, 10 seasons of 70-plus catches.

Brown's stats are awesome too: 1,094 catches, 14,934 yards, 100 touchdowns, plus nearly 5,000 return yards.

There are only 17 wide receivers in the Hall of Fame, led by the greatest of all, Rice. Others inducted include James Lofton, Art Monk and Lynn Swann.

No doubt, Brown and Carter deserve to be among that trio. Their time will come, but it should have happened by now.

- Mark Podolski


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