BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot
Andre Reed made Saturday’s final cut to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2014 class.
He will become the seventh member of the Buffalo Bills’ four-time consecutive AFC Championship teams from 1990-93 to have a bust in Canton, joining former teammates Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, James Lofton and Bruce Smith, along with coach Marv Levy and owner Ralph Wilson Jr.
Reed will go into the Hall of Fame this summer alongside Derrick Brooks, Walter Jones, Michael Strahan, Aeneas Williams, Claude Humphrey and Ray Guy.
Over the span on Reed’s 16-year NFL career (1985-2000), Reed made a living catching passes all over the field, especially over the middle. The wide receiver piled up significant yards after the catch and made numerous big plays in his career.
Upon his retirement in 2000, Reed ranked third all-time in receptions (951), sixth in career touchdown receptions (87) and fourth in receiving yards (13,198). He was also selected to the Pro Bowl seven times and was a two-time second-team AP All-Pro. At the time of his retirement, Reed looked destined to join the Hall of Fame sooner rather than later.
14 years later, Reed now ranks 11th in receptions, 12th in career touchdown receptions and 13th in receiving yards. The NFL passing game has evolved greatly since Reed’s retirement, and for the last few seasons it hurt Reed’s Hall of Fame chances.
The other reason for Reed’s delay entering the Hall of Fame was a logjam of strong candidates at the position. Reed has been eligible for the Hall of Fame since 2005 and a finalist every year since 2007, but he has had to go against the likes of Michael Irvin, Art Monk, Jerry Rice, Cris Carter and Tim Brown. Most recently, Reed was fighting for votes with Cris Carter and Tim Brown. Carter’s entry into Canton in 2013 was supposed to help Reed this year, but Marvin Harrison entered into the fray, making Reed’s entry into the Hall of Fame more selective.
Reed in the Postseason
Reed was not only one of the best wide receivers in the regular season, but he was also terrific in the postseason. Reed ranks second to Jerry Rice in Super Bowl receptions with 27, and his 323 receiving yards in the Super Bowl is third to Jerry Rice and Lynn Swann.
In 21 career playoff games, Reed finished with 85 receptions for 1,229 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Reed’s greatest post-season game took place at Rich Stadium on Jan. 3, 1993 when the Bills defeated the Houston Oilers in “The Comeback Game.” Reed helped the Bills overcome a 35-3 deficit by catching eight passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns.
The Wait No Longer Matters
Reed might have had to wait to get enshrined in the Hall of Fame, but it was well worth it. His place among the all-time greats will soon be on display in Canton with his bust alongside other legendary players.