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How did Steve Smith become a Hall of Fame nominee?

Welcome to FTW Explains, a guide to catching up on and better understanding stuff going on in the world. You may have seen talk of Steve Smith being a nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and wondered why it’s a big deal. We’re here to help. Let us explain.

What happened?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its Class of 2018 nominees for the Modern Era, which includes 108 players and coaches. Steve Smith was listed with the wide receivers:

WIDE RECEIVERS
(13) – *Isaac Bruce, Donald Driver, Henry Ellard (also PR), Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Randy Moss, *Terrell Owens, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith, Steve Smith, John Taylor, Hines Ward

What’s so weird about that?

It’s Steve Smith. C’mon.

But didn’t Smith finish with 14,731 career receiving yards, which puts him seventh on the all-time list?

Aha, see? That’s where this all becomes weird. This isn’t the Steve Smith who played 16 years in the NFL with the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens.

It’s the Steve Smith who played six years, four of which were spent with the New York Giants.

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

That guy doesn’t seem like a Hall of Famer.

You’re…

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