Sharpe was preparing for the worst

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The buzz surrounding the Pro Football Hall of Fame voting this week was that former Denver star tight end Shannon Sharpe could have difficulty being elected in his first year of eligibility.

I talked to Sharpe about what he thought would happen early in the week. He said he heard the buzz as well.

Saturday that buzz became reality. Sharpe, who won three Super Bowl rings (two with Denver and one with Baltimore), did not get elected into the Hall of Fame.

Sharpe said this week that making the Hall of Fame was "very important" to him and that being elected would cement his NFL legacy. But he admitted that he was preparing for the possibility of not making the cut.

"I will not go home and climb the tallest building in Atlanta and jump off it if I don't get in," Sharpe said. "But I'd like to get in very much."

Sharpe will undoubtedly be elected into the Hall at some point, but it could take a while. He is likely being considered as a receiver and there is already a logjam at receiver. He is competing with Cris Carter and Andre Reed and he will soon be competing with Jerry Rice and Tim Brown.

I believe Sharpe should be judged as a tight end who changed the game, and he should be in the Hall of Fame. But his wait continues.

What makes the wait somewhat soothing for Sharpe is that he knows he's done all he can do.

"My stats aren't going to change," he said. "I've done everything I can and I am comfortable with that."