Pittsburgh Steelers legend Hines Ward isn't in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which is a fact that's considered ridiculous to many football fans, let alone those in Western Pennsylvania.
But it may have come as a surprise to many prior to it trending on social media this week.
Ward, the all-time leading receiver in Steelers franchise history, has been brought up amid discussions of fellow former wide receiver Julian Edelman's recent retirement and potential Hall of Fame candidacy.
Ward finished his NFL career with 1,000 receptions for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns in 14 seasons, which is significantly more than Edelman's 620 receptions for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns during his 12-year career.
Both receivers also have a Super Bowl MVP and multiple Super Bowl victories, though Edelman has a 3-2 advantage in championships.
"Ward’s stats badly trump Edelman’s save the playoff numbers. Ward has 380 more catches, 49 more touchdowns, four Pro Bowls to Edelman’s none, three second-team All-Pro selections to Edelman’s none," Madden wrote viaTRIBLive.com. "Ward was no post-season slouch, either: He got a Super Bowl MVP, just like Edelman. But nobody thinks Ward is making the Hall of Fame, except perhaps Ward."
Ward's name was trending shortly after Edelman's retirement announcement on Monday, with others pointing out his significant statistical advantage and questionable Hall of Fame absence.
Edelman shared a video of himself on the field of Gillette Stadium announcing his decision on Monday (April 12) afternoon following reports that the New England Patriots released him from his contract after a failed physical.
"It was a hard decision, but the right decision for me and my family," Edelman said. "And I'm honored and so proud to be retiring a Patriot. ... It's been the best 12 years of my life."
Edelman has spent his entire 12-year NFL career with the Patriots and ranks second in franchise history for career receptions (620), fourth in receiving yards (6,822) and ninth in receiving touchdowns (36.)