Statistically speaking, Terrell Owens is one of the top-five wide receivers to ever play the game. His pure dominance in terms of physicality and athleticism shook up the landscape of the NFL for a good seven-year span.
Owens ranks sixth on the all-time receptions list, second on the all-time list in yards and third on the all-time receiving touchdowns list. Yes, Owens is going to be a sure-fire Hall of Famer when all is said and done.
Off the field, Owens has been nothing more than a distraction for nearly every single team he has played for during an 15-year playing career that came to an abrupt end in 2010.
At 39 years old (will turn 40 in December), there are a lot of questions about his ability to make any sort of impact in the NFL. He last suited up for a regular season game with the Cincinnati Bengals 32 months ago and hasn’t really been on the radar of NFL teams since. Owens did catch on with the Seattle Seahawks during training camp last season, but was cut prior to the start of the regular year.
Apparently the veteran receiver wants back in the NFL this year.
According to Owens’ agent, Jordan Woy, the receiver has had conversations with multiple teams about a possible return to the NFL. Owens believes that he can make an instant impact for a contending team and would like to catch on in the right situation.
Despite serious injuries to Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree and Percy Harvin over the past few months; common logic seems to suggest that Owens’ wishes to return to the NFL are nothing more than a pipe dream filled with a pie-in-the-sky mentality.
Name the last 40-year-old wide receiver to make an impact in the NFL.
Even the G.O.A.T. Jerry Rice didn’t make much of an impact when he turned 40. His numbers declined from 1,211 yards at the age of 39 to under 800 yards the following season. Within a calendar year, Rice had to call it quits.
While Owens learned what has become a ridiculous conditioning program under Rice during their years in San Francisco, it just doesn’t seem to make much sense for anyone to believe he’ll be an impact player should he catch on with a team.
Because of the injuries I mentioned above, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Seattle may (and I repeat may) be in the market for a receiver. Interestingly enough, Owens has spent time with all three teams. His departure from both San Francisco and Philadelphia didn’t come on the best of terms. In addition, both the Seahawks and 49ers have added veteran options since their key receivers went down with injury.
It goes without saying that none of these three teams will be interested in Owens’ services.
If so, where does he go from here?
The Baltimore Ravens.
Yes, I just indicated that the defending Super Bowl champions could be interested in bringing Owens in. While bordering on madness, this idea could make some sense.
John Harbaugh and Co. dealt Anquan Boldin to San Francisco just a few weeks after the Super Bowl last February and didn’t go out there to find a decent replacement for their No. 1 receiver. The loss of tight end Dennis Pitta to a season-ending hip injury has handcuffed the Ravens even further.
According to sources, Baltimore is interested in looking at the veteran free-agent market. With the options dwindling at this point in training camp, Baltimore might be forced to bring Owens in for a workout. If the veteran is able to actually prove that he hasn’t lost a step from his final season in Cincinnati, it would make sense for Baltimore to take a chance on him.
Outside of the Ravens, there really aren’t many options for Owens.
He could look to latch on to a less-than-stellar situation with a team that’s not in contention for a postseason spot. Even if that is an option for Owens, which it appears to be, what young team would bring in a media circus like this?
I guess you already know the answer to that question.
It could be Baltimore or bust for the soon-to-be 40-year-old Owens. Get your popcorn ready, Owens has caught the attention of the media world at least for a short period of time.
Vincent Frank is an NFL featured columnist at Bleacher Report.
Vincent is the head sports editor at eDraft, co-host of eDraft Sports Radio (which airs every Monday and Wednesday from 3-6 p.m. ET) and a fantasy writer for Pro Football Focus. He’s also the news director here at PFC and co-host of Football Debate Central with Ryan Riddle8:00-9:30 every Wednesday