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Steelers Antonio Brown Deserves Hall of Fame Status More Than Hines Ward? Or Vice Versa?

Peter Diana / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Steelers Antonio Brown Deserves Hall of Fame Status More Than Hines Ward? Or Vice Versa?

The Pittsburgh Steelers franchise have 29 individuals enshrined in Canton as members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The storied organization has been the home to many great players, coaches and scouts for years. While we know Maurkice Pouncey and recently retired, Ben Roethlisberger are on their way to being inducted, a couple other names, wide receivers in particular, are going to have their chance, but may not get in.

Antonio Brown and Hines Ward are the two best receivers for the Steelers in the 21st century and maybe all time. While most of Steeler Nation holds somewhat of a grudge against Brown and an affinity for Ward, the fan base isn’t voting for who gets in.

Steelers Ward Brown

Photo Steelers Wire

Let’s play a game and assume only one of these star wideouts can be inducted in Canton one day. Who deserves it more, bias aside?

Let’s start with Ward’s case vs Brown.

Ward is the all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns in Steeler history. His 10,000 receptions are good for 14th in NFL history. While a receiver’s blocking tendencies aren’t necessarily weighed statistically, #86 was the best blocking wideout of his generation and that should hold weight in his candidacy. Ward was also the MVP of Super Bowl XL. The biggest downfall here are his personal accolades. He played 13 seasons and was only elected to four Pro Bowls while receiving second team All-Pro honors three times. Hall of Fame voting tends to sincerely value how players were honored during their career. Ward is up against guys like Andre JohnsonReggie WayneAnquan BoldinSteve Smith, and Tory Holt. None of those guys played as many career games as Ward and all have similar or better stats and accolades than him. One of the biggest edges he has are Super Bowl victories. That group combined only has three compared to Ward’s two plus an MVP to go along with it. He beats Brown in that category as well.

Speaking of the playoffs, Ward played in 18 games catching 88 passes for 1,181 yards and 10 touchdowns. His 1,181 yards are good for ninth all-time. Four of the eight in front of him are already Hall of Famers and the other four are Julian EdelmanRob GronkowskiTravis Kelce and Wayne. Ward’s case is strong, but he faces fierce competition before he can get past the semi-finalist stage.

Steelers Ward and Brown Talk

Antonio Brown and Hines Ward chat prior to a game. / USA Today

Brown’s case against Ward

Brown is even more intriguing than Ward. He is second all-time in the three major categories Ward leads in Steelers history. Throughout his career, however, he has more receiving yards than Ward and is only 72 receptions behind him. Brown put up these numbers in 71 less career games. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver was able to get his Super Bowl ring in 2021. He pairs that with seven Pro Bowl trips and four first team All-Pro selections. Brown is just two touchdowns shy of tying Ward’s 85 regular season touchdowns.

Brown has 59 receptions, 918 yards and five touchdowns in 13 career postseason games. Ward gets the advantage here, but he did play in five more playoff games. This in a way, is a coin flip right now. This could change depending on if Brown gets another shot in the NFL , continues to play and at an elite level.

With that said, Brown’s off the field antics and constant drama certainly leave a bad taste in my mouth. We have seen throughout professional sports recently that voters in these situations are valuing what happens off the field and in the locker room. Just statistics and accolades aren’t good enough to get you inducted into the Hall of Fame. Brown is a heck of a talent, but has he made too many enemies to warrant an induction? Certainly, that is my train of thought.

Ward is my favorite Steeler ever to wear the black and gold. I would love to see him get in instead of Brown. If only one can get in, let’s hope #86 gets the nod. I think, as of now, he deserves it more. Both face an uphill battle, but for different reasons. Ward doesn’t have the personal recognition typical of a Hall of Famer, but has the statistics, Super Bowls and was certainly the best blocking wide receiver of his time. Brown has the numbers, accolades, and Super Bowl, but has he damaged his reputation to the point where if I were a voter, I am giving the nod to Ward if I had to choose between the two.


If you could only choose one, who are you electing to the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Let us know in the comments below!




  1. Donnie

    February 26, 2022 at 2:24 am


  2. Michelle

    February 26, 2022 at 9:01 am

    Ward hands down. AB still out there making questionable life choices.

  3. John Wayne Laking

    February 26, 2022 at 12:25 pm


  4. Jodessy

    February 26, 2022 at 4:54 pm

    Antonio Brown yet the off field problems are quite not good but on the field his route running should highly be prioritized.

  5. Bruce

    February 26, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    Ward hands down, forget the crying Diva!!

  6. Alex

    February 26, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    Parker somehow fails to mention the unrivaled six year peak that AB had from 2013-2018, that was statistically superior to any other wideout’s best 6 years in NFL history in terms of the key receiving averages. Yes, this includes Jerry Rice as well as Randy Moss. Look it up, do the research. Hines Ward was NEVER the undisputed best wide receiver in the league at any point of his career. AB was for four years in a row from 2014-2017, being named first-team all-pro in those consecutive years. That makes it not even an opinion at that point, first-team all-pro legitimately entails that a player is the best at their respective position. The only reason AB and Ward should ever even be mentioned in the same breath is because they were both Steelers. From an ability, talent and career achievement perspective, AB is simply on another planet…

  7. Paul Pryor Jr

    February 26, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Ward!!!! Brown’s diva mentality screwed up Pittsburgh’s WR’s to this day.

  8. Sherri VanSnik

    February 26, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    Ward, Brown’s off field antics ruined his chances for the Gold Jacket!

  9. John M

    February 26, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    #86 Steel Tough symbolic of city of Pittsburgh! The smile after he pulverized an opponent on a block said it all. He had fun ! Loved the game and respected it.

  10. John Murphy

    February 26, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    #86 Steel Tough symbolic of city of Pittsburgh! The smile after he pulverized an opponent on a block said it all. He had fun ! Loved the game and respected it.

  11. Tara Lee

    February 27, 2022 at 5:49 am

    Hines Ward! Has AB ever blocked?!

  12. Freddie Jenkins St

    February 28, 2022 at 6:01 pm

    They all deserve to be in the HOF. Several of them had questionable off field antics going on. All were and still great football players.

  13. LolaS

    April 17, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    Doesn’t need to be one or the other. They both were great playmakers and deserve what they deserve. You people always thinking it must only be one or the other are total stooges.

  14. James Barnhart

    April 19, 2022 at 2:19 am

    Hines Ward. He didn’t get the stats because he played on teams that ran the ball more than the rest of the league.

  15. Alan Edwards

    April 19, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    No question about it, Hines Ward. He was the all around football player…….

  16. Whelk

    April 26, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    For any one pass, I’ll take Brown. He was a fantastic pass catcher. For a career I would take Ward. He’s just a better guy for the team and the sport.

  17. Mary Raymus

    May 16, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    No question, Hines Ward.

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