The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 gets inducted on Saturday. Shutdown Corner will profile the eight new Hall of Famers, looking at each of their careers and their impact on the game.
On the field, Harrison changed how receivers were viewed. He came into the NFL when the league was trending toward tall, hulking receivers who could out-muscle cornerbacks. Harrison was just 6-feet and 185 pounds, but was too quick for defensive backs. That works in the NFL too.
There’s another side of Harrison that has clouded his legacy after his retirement. He was involved in a few murky gun incidents, although he was not charged with any crimes in them. In 2008, a man named Dwight Dixon said Harrison shot him in the hand after an argument outside Harrison’s car wash in Philadelphia, and a man named Robert Nixon said he was hit in the back with a stray bullet. Nixon also said Harrison was the shooter, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer and other reports.
Harrison admitted to fighting with Dixon five to 10 minutes before the shooting, the Philadelphia Inquirer said. Although bullet casings at the scene matched a gun that Harrison owned, no charges were filed due to inconsistent statements by the witnesses, who were deemed not credible by the district attorney.
I was rooting for Trent Richardson’s comeback.
Richardson was cut on Tuesday by the Baltimore Ravens, and that might be it for him in the NFL. He was out of football all last season. There wasn’t much interest in him before the Ravens, whose general manager Ozzie Newsome is a former Alabama star like Richardson, signed him.
Richardson has been the butt of many jokes after the former first-round pick failed with the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts. But he opened up about what happened, saying he struggled with the transition to the NFL. He didn’t work hard enough without the structure he had in college, and regretted that. He found his focus waning with friends and family members asking for money. He said he took it very hard when he was out of football last season. He just wanted to play again.