Jason Whitlock: ‘I have no problem with Terrell Owens not making the Hall of Fame’

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Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock disagree with each other on whether former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh joins the discussion: "He should have been in on the first ballot."

- Should T.O. make the Hall of Fame this weekend?

- Yeah, he's a great player. I've never bought into the ambiguous, flimsy character issue. I mean, if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was into character, there'd be nobody in that thing. Seriously, if you look at Hall--

- Is there a guitar involved in football?

- I don't know.

- Or a microphone?

- He got into the end zone a lot. He's catching 100 balls a year. He was pretty good. He's one of the five best receivers I've ever seen.

- I have no problem with Terrell Owens not making the Hall of Fame. I think I've listened to people come up with this silly argument that if you can tell the story of the NFL, if you can't tell it without this guy, they need to be in the Hall of Fame.

Ray Rice-- can't tell the NFL story without him-- does he belong? Tim Tebow-- can't tell the story without him-- does he belong? Colin Kaepernick-- are we gonna put him in the Hall of Fame?

So to me-- and again T.O. was a far better player than any of those guys I rattled off-- T.O., talent-wise and stat-wise, is a Hall of Fame player. When you get let go by four or five different teams, and they make up their mind-- you're too much of a headache, I don't want you-- that's not a Hall of Famer to me.

Being a part of a team atmosphere, being a good teammate, contributing to a winning effort, and not-- name the Hall of Famer that's had four or five teams say, nah, get your ass out of here. It doesn't happen to Hall of Famers.

[SIGHING]

- Listen, OK. As quick as he got cut, a team was ready to pick him up. And so you gotta look at it both ways. To me, he should have been in on the first ballot. He was, in my generation-- he was a little older-- that my generation receivers looked up to. And from a talent perspective, it's a no brainer. He should have been in the first year. And it's a shame that he's not, because the people that are voting, they shouldn't be allowed to vote anymore. It's based off of talent.

- Thank you.

- It's based off of talent. His talent warrants--

- It's not the talent Hall of Fame.

- What is it? It's the best--

- Production.

- --and his production, his talent, warrants a spot in the Hall of Fame. The best players that ever play in an NFL go to the Hall of Fame. He's one of the best players to ever play, especially at receiver. I mean, it's no question.

- And also he's a wide receiver. Wide receivers have always been personalities of the locker room. They're like the NBA players-- they're on the perimeter, they break the huddle first, they're the most athletic, when you throw the ball down the field they make the spectacular plays.

Don't you have to give receivers a little break? They are the personalities of the league.

- But his personality should not be a part of whether he makes it--

- You're a locker room cancer, that's part of being a good teammate.

- If he was that much of a-- how many years did he play? He wasn't that much of a locker room cancer.

- He got to a Super Bowl.

- Time out. How many times was he responsible for winning a championship, or helping his team win a championship, or game-winning catches, or the reason why they won? What was his role there? He got all these numbers and stats, and that's great. Does he belong? Yeah, he probably belongs.

But the Hall of Fame is about excellence. It's not about who the best athlete is. It's about excellence. Excellence in every facet-- from being a great team player, to being there when they need you to win a game, and your performance. There's so much that make up what a Hall of Famer is. And if you use excellence as your goal, and you're talking about excellence in all these players, then you have to measure up in all those areas.

- Would you want him? Because you were a guy that loved receivers.

- No.

- You wouldn't want him?

- No, I wouldn't want him on the team, to be honest with you.

- Why?

- Because I wouldn't want to deal with a guy that is an independent contractor. It's about a football team. And if he won't-- let me rephrase that differently. If he would buy in and become what we are, yeah, absolutely. But if he wouldn't buy into it, no I don't want him.

- That is my point. And my standard for getting into the Hall of Fame should be, did you make the game greater? It's a great game. Did you contribute to the greatness of the game of football? That's what makes you a Hall of Famer.

TJ HOUSHMENDZADEH: He did.

- He did, but he also took away in my opinion. And again, I think what Mike is arguing-- T.O. I think has a couple of signature moments. Playing in that Super Bowl on one leg and putting up those numbers, I can't take that away from him. The catch I think he had in San Francisco--

COLIN COWHERD: Green Bay.

- --against Green Bay. The big time plays and blah, blah. But there's too much-- the Philadelphia Eagles went all-in on Terrell Owens. And then a year later-- even after he did this in the Super Bowl-- it was like man, we can't have this. You're undermining our quarterback.

TJ HOUSHMANDZADEH: See, a lot of it though--

- From McNabb, to Jeff Garcia-- everywhere he went he had a problem. That's part of being a great player and contributing to the greatness of the game, is being a good teammate.

- He'll get in. Eventually, he's gonna get in, whether it's this time or not. But what's hard for me is, to go by Issac Bruce who was a consummate team player-- winning catch to win the Super Bowl, all kinds of winning plays at the end of the games, opens up our first playoff game ever in St. Louis with a touchdown 80-yards-- his impact on that team, that whole organization, was phenomenal, and he's got great numbers. To me, those are the kinds of guys that are what this Hall of Fame is about.

- Issac Bruce should be in the Hall of Fame as well.

- Somehow we can go right by him, and we talk about T.O.-- because he kept his mouth shut, he didn't promote himself, he's a good guy. And all we want to hear-- these guys talking and promoting themselves. And here's Isaac, who represents to me, what the league ought to be about.

- Yeah, he is a Hall of Famer. I agree.

- Isaac Bruce was a route runner. So he, for sure-- I can appreciate, Isaac Bruce got open because he can run routes. And T.O. just got a lot of bad advice, and he didn't follow what he knew was right in my opinion.

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