Terrell Owens says he’s still waiting for an NFL team to call after announcing his intention to make a comeback in the league.
He’ll be waiting a long time, likely forever.
The mercurial wide receiver last caught a glimpse of the NFL in summer of last year, when he was signed by the Seattle Seahawks but cut during training camp. Owens spent the season away from football, but said last week he intended to play again this year.
Owens added that he would formally retire if he couldn’t find a team for 2013.
“If I don’t play this year, I’m retiring,” Owens said. “That’s just me being realistic. I want to play again. I want to go out on top with a team. I think I can still play, but if I don’t sign with a team, it would be time to retire. I have to be honest with myself.”
If Terrell Owens wanted to be truly honest, he would admit that he used up his last chance in the league. He gained a reputation early as a volatile young player who could dominate on the field but divide a locker room. He burned bridges with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys, but was so talented that teams were always willing to give him a shot.
Owens mellowed during the tail end of his career, starting with a low-key stint on the Buffalo Bills. But by then Owens had burned too many bridges, and as his skills faded a bit his opportunities dwindled. Suddenly no one wanted to take a chance on a star with diminishing skills.
He even admits as much.
“It’s all politics,” Owens said. “I think a lot of it has to do with my reputation, things that I’ve done early in my career. I’m a changed person. I’m a bit more mature than I was in years past, and I think if anybody out there can look past that and look what I can bring to the team than some of the things that happened in the past, I can look past it and maybe they could, and I could go in and help a team develop some of those younger guys.”
There is no doubt that Terrell Owens is in great shape. Even at 38 he is in prime physical condition, and has plenty of skills to contribute on the field, but would be a third or fourth receiver at best. Most teams would want a young, up-and-coming player or special teams contributor in that slot.
Terrell Owens comeback attempt will likely be over soon.