As we near the end of the offseason and on toward the beautiful sunrise of next season, there’s been some speculation – though maybe not as much as you might think – about Terrell Owens, why he hasn’t been signed and if he will have a job in 2010.
The second season of “The TO Show” will premiere July 12 on VH1 (I thought ratings for his reality show for the first season were outrageously bad. How did he get re-upped for another season?), so maybe he’ll let us know how he’s feeling that, at this point, he’s unwanted by all 32 teams in the NFL.
Andy wrote a little about this a couple days ago , and he quoted Owens telling the NFL Network, "I think why I'm not on a team is not because I can't play. It's based off character issues, and I think that's where the situation lies, and I don't think it's fair. As far as me being able to produce and perform on a football field, I can do that -- that's not a question."
Perhaps not. After all, with Buffalo last season, he still showed he’s got his skills, catching a team-high 55 passes for a team-high 829 yards and five touchdowns. Sure, those numbers are way down from his previous seasons, but you also have to remember, he had Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards throwing the ball his way last year. Nobody will confuse them with Dallas QB Tony Romo and former San Francisco QB Jeff Garcia.
So, why were the Bills so ready to get rid of him if questioning his character is no longer fair? It’s true what he says. Owens – at least in the public eye – was a sweetheart last year. Didn’t cause a stir. Didn’t create problems. Why can’t he find a team now?
I’ve talked to a few sources around the league, and the consensus is this: despite last season’s good behavior, he’s got one too many strikes against him, and his talent is no longer good enough to override whatever other problems he’s had (or could create). One assistant coach I talked to said Owens still can still use his speed to get by defensive backs – “A majority of his touchdowns last year was TO beating DBs up the field,” the assistant said – and he still has good hands. But he’s not quite as skilled a blocker down field as he used to be.
Owens has talked to a few squads, but at least one team thought he just didn’t seem all that interested in the job. Basically, he didn’t sell himself.
But the biggest issue for Owens? This, of course, is subject to chance once training camp starts and injuries begin to pile up, but basically it’s this: teams simply feel he’s not worth the hassle.
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