James Walker brings up the debate for potential Hall of Fame players in the AFC North. I know, I know. It's a slow time of year, so the discussions come from all angles. As for the Bengals, Walker suggests Chad Ochocinco.
Ochocinco already has more career receiving yards than current Hall of Famers Raymond Berry (9,725 yards), Fred Biletnikoff (8,974 yards), John Stallworth (8,723 yards) and Paul Warfield (8,565 yards). Ochocinco has seven 1,000-yard seasons in his nine-year career, displaying his consistency. At 32, Ochocinco still has several good years left, which will further improve his numbers.
It's quite possible that Chad could reach the 12,000-yard receiving mark by the end of 2011, allowing him to surpass Hall of Famers like Michael Irvin and Don Maynard. If you give him another thousand by the end of 2012, you can add Art Monk and Charlie Joiner to that list. Due to Chad's age and conditioning -- and durability -- I would expect Chad to threaten several career records.
Furthermore, only two players in NFL history have recorded 15,000 yards receiving or more (Terrell Owens is 49 yards receiving away from reaching that milestone). Chad would need to record 5,048 yards receiving. Projecting him to play another six seasons (through the age of 38), Chad would only need to average 842 yards per season. Impossible? Hardly. As a Bengals receiver? Maybe not.
On the other hand, Walker writes that the case against Chad is that "he hasn't won anything." True enough. But he has plenty of time.
So is that the answer? Is the idea of making the Hall of Fame for Chad about incredible production throughout his career? Or does he need to win the post season, ideally a Super Bowl, to make it in the Hall of Fame?