Community Tailgate: 8/10/15

We’re still a few weeks away from the start of battles on the NFL gridiron, but there’s no offseason when it comes to debate amongst fans. Earlier this summer, we launched a new series here at PFR that will be known as the Community Tailgate. What’s the Community Tailgate all about? Well, it’s pretty simple. Every weekday, we’ll highlight one of the top stories going on in the NFL. Then, in the comment section below, we want you to weigh in and let us know what you think.

Of course, while the debate may get spirited, we ask that it all stays respectful. If you need a reminder of our rules, please check out our commenting policy. Basically, we ask that you refrain from inappropriate language, personal insults, and attacks. Speaking of commenting: we’ve made it much easier to leave a comment here at Pro Football Rumors. You are no longer required to be a registered user – simply put in your name, email address, and comment and submit.

Today, we’ll be discussing wide receiver Steve Smith and his candidacy for the Hall of Fame. As you surely know by now, Smith announced on Monday morning that the 2015 season will be his last. Smith, now with the Ravens, stands as the Panthers’ all-time leading receiver with 836 receptions for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns receiving. For his career, spanning 15 years to date, Smith has caught 915 passes for a total of 13,262 yards and 73 touchdowns. It seems quite possible that Smith, a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro, could be inducted into the Hall of Fame once he’s eligible. But it’s not a slam dunk.

Due largely to the evolution of the game and voters’ difficulty in comparing wide receivers from different eras, receivers have had some difficulty finding their way into Canton. Since 2000, there have been only ten WRs inducted into the Hall of Fame, and that number includes the controversial selection of Steelers notable Lynn Swann. Smith’s numbers are better than many of the receivers already in the Hall, but voters might chalk that up to the passing-friendly rules that have been brought into the NFL in the modern era.

When Smith is eligible, do you think he’ll enter the Hall of Fame? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

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5 comments on “Community Tailgate: 8/10/15

  1. Steve Maskewit

    Steve will absolutely get in the HOF. His numbers alone should get him in. Controversial at times, but a great leader,intense teammate, and a nightmare for D- coordinators everywhere.Carolina fans love Steve and I am sad to see him retire.

  2. Sam Robinson

    I’d say yes as well. Not on the Moss/Owens tier, but definitely on the one that houses waiting-in-line stalwarts Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. Plus, doing it in less-friendly passing systems than most of his modern contemporaries should count for something. With even a below-average year in 2015 Smith will ascend into the top 10 in yardage. Not first-ballot, but definitely in someday.

  3. Rory Parks

    I’d be inclined to agree, but sooner or later voters will draw the line on receivers as more and more good-but-not-great ones pile up impressive statistics due to the changing nature of the game. Now, Smith put up numbers because he was consistently great, but at no point was he ever the BEST receiver in the game. It’s sort of the same argument the baseball writers make with pitchers like Mike Mussina; consistently great, but you can’t say that he was ever the best pitcher in the league at any point in his career. It’s not an argument I’m fond of, but it’s one that exists. But between his numbers–let’s not forget his return yardage either–and the intangibles like his competitiveness and fearlessness, I’d say he stands a great chance. And if he somehow captures a ring this year, he’s a lock.

  4. Eric Roe

    I think it’s very possible that he gets in if voters get passionate about his leadership and fiestiness, but it will take him some time. Possibly 6 or 7 years, maybe longer depending on how the voting shakes out the next few years. Even with what would be considered a down year (600-700 yds) would still put him ahead of Chris Carter into the Top 10 on the all-time receiving list. But you can also argue that his numbers are a by-product of the era he played in. While he was the #1 receiver in Carolina for years, putting up big receiving numbers right now isn’t that shocking. His best year came in 2005 with 1,563 yds and 12TDs. From 2006-2014 he has averaged 1,056 yds and 5.7TDs. You can consider QB play all you want, but those aren’t the numbers of a great receiver, and his QB in 2005 was Jake Delhomme! So no, Steve Smith, Sr. should not be a Hall of Famer.

  5. Dallas Robinson

    I think it’s pretty likely that Smith will inducted into the Hall of Fame. With another solid season, he’ll move into the top ten among WRs in terms of AV. Every receiver ahead of him is (or will be) in the Hall of Fame. He’s probably right on the edge, and his great persona will probably push him over the top.

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