Former Buffalo Bills' wide receiver Andre Reed will have to wait another year for the hallowed call to Canton, Ohio. The Hall of Fame Selection Committee voted in the Class of 2010 Saturday in South Florida, a list the former perennial Pro Bowler was not a member of for the fourth consecutive year.
Reed played for the Bills from the time he was a fourth round selection (86th overall) in the 1985 NFL draft until the 1999 season. He then finished his career with the Washington Redskins in 2000.
Currently standing in 11th place on the NFL's all-time touchdown receptions list (with 87), perhaps Reed's most notable contributions came as a member of Buffalo's four-straight AFC championship teams from 1990-93. The Bills went on to lose all four Super Bowls, but the receiver's play was an integral piece to that championship puzzle.
He accumulated 13,710 all-purpose yards in his career and earned seven straight trips to the Pro Bowl from 1988-94. In four seasons he topped 1,000 yards receiving, with 1991 being his most productive scoring year (10 TDs). His second best year was 1989, when he pulled in nine touchdown receptions.
It goes without saying, but his play did not go unnoticed by the signal caller from those four straight Super Bowls and Hall of Famer, Jim Kelly.
"Every year I pull for Andre no matter who he's up against," Kelly told buffalobills.com. "That's my boy. Hopefully each year one of these receivers will keep getting in to improve Andre's chances by reducing the pool of receiver talent."
And it was that solid pool of talented receivers that proved fateful. While Reed's stellar statistics are without question of a Hall of Famer's pedigree, the list of other candidates, particularly from the receiver position, was just too difficult to ignore.
Jerry Rice, whose 20-year career with the 49ers, Raiders and Seahawks is commonly referred to as the best by a wideout in history, was considered a lock. His 22,895 yards and 208 touchdowns are the most ever by any NFL player. The same could be said for running back Emmitt Smith (1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, '02-'04 Arizona Cardinals), who racked up 18,355 yards and 164 TDs on the ground, both the best all-time by a running back.
Both were voted in along with guard Russ Grimm, linebacker Rickey Jackson, cornerback Dick LeBeau, running back Floyd Little and defensive tackle John Randle.
Reed was eliminated from contention in the second round of deliberation (trimming the list of potential modern-era enshrinees from 10 to five. The nine others shaved from this year's class were Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Don Coryell, Roger Craig, Dermontti Dawson, Richard Dent, Charles Haley, Cortez Kennedy and Shannon Sharpe.
In the NFL network's coverage of the announcement, former 49ers QB and Hall of Famer, Steve Young, gave his analysis of what it takes to make it to Canton. He said, "When you think about what a Hall of Famer is, it's a difference maker." That certainly can be said of Reed's years in Buffalo. Either way, his accomplishments speak for themselves, but the creation of his bust in Canton will have to wait a fifth year.