"If a guy like Gale Sayers and some other ones are in the Hall of Fame with a short career, absolutely he deserves to be in," Favre says of Sharpe.
Of course, Sterling was an absolute BEAST in the NFL for 7 seasons ... piling up 8,134 receiving yards and 65 TDs on 595 catches -- but a neck injury prematurely ended his career.
Most pundits think that's why Sharpe ain't in Canton yet ... but Favre -- who played with Sterling from 1992 through 1994 -- tells us it's a BS reason to keep the 54-year-old from getting a bust.
"I have this argument with people all the time," Favre says. "The only thing you can say about Sterling is he didn't play as long as others."
But, Brett tells us that's not a good excuse ... 'cause guys like Sayers and Terrell Davis had injury-shortened careers but still got into the hall.
"The time that he played, the numbers that he put up, absolutely, 100 percent deserves to be in the Hall of Fame," Favre says.
FYI, Sterling's own brother, Shannon Sharpe, believes the same thing ... famously saying at his HOF induction ceremony in 2011, "I am the only person in the Hall of Fame that can say I was the second-best player in my own family."