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.
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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!