The NFL released the, choosing the 10 best receivers from the league's 100 seasons. Once the team was released, there was one glaring omission.
Terrell Owens, third all-time in receiving yards (15,934) and receiving touchdowns (156), was left off the list, but Marvin Harrison and Randy Moss made the team. Owens, Harrison and Moss were arguably the three best wide receivers of their era, but not having Owens as part of the greatest wideouts in league history certainly caused a reaction from the Hall of Famer.
Owens took to social media to express his omission from the team:
.@NFL: You don’t need everybody to be for you; you just need the right people to be for you. God has people in positions of influence that will open doors you couldn’t open, give you opportunity & promotion that you didn’t see coming. You won’t have to find them; they’ll find you— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) December 21, 2019
Owens was compared with Moss for the 13 seasons they played together in the NFL. From 1998 to 2010, Moss had 954 catches for 14,858 yards and 153 touchdowns for the Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots. Owens had 983 catches for 14,478 yards and 141 touchdowns during that same span with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. Moss played from age 21 to age 33, while Owens played from age 25 to age 37.
In the 11 seasons Owens, Moss and Harrison played together (1998 to 2008), Harrison had 965 catches for 12,878 yards and 114 touchdowns while Moss had 843 catches for 13,201 yards and 135 touchdowns. Owens had 856 catches for 12,666 yards and 127 touchdowns.
If the NFL panel used these numbers to omit Owens, they have an argument for his omission. When Owens retired from the league in 2010, he was second all-time in receiving touchdowns and receiving yards behind Jerry Rice. Only Moss has passed him in receiving touchdowns, and Larry Fitzgerald (who also made the team) passed him in receiving yards.
Owens was not selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his first attempt either, not getting enshrined until his third try. Owens has sounded off against the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his omission several times, including not attending the enshrinement ceremony in Canton in 2018.
There won't be an explanation for why Owens was omitted from the all-time team, but Owens does deserve a spot amongst the game's best based on his numbers in his 15 NFL seasons.