|After 15 seasons and five teams, T.O.'s NFL career appears to be over. (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
Terrell Owens last played in an NFL game on December 19, 2010 as a member of the Bengals. It was his first and last year in Cincinnati, one half of the self-proclaimed "Batman and Robin" along with Chad Ochocinco. The duo was so dynamic that quarterback Carson Palmer opted for retirement over another year in Cincy, T.O. wasn't re-signed and Ochocinco was shipped off to New England.
Owens, then 37, was allowed to walk for reasons other than his on-field skills. In 14 games during the 2010 season, he caught 72 passes for 983 yards including 10 touchdowns. Still, despite holding midseason 2011 workouts to show that he had fully recovered from knee surgery, Owens didn't get a sniff from any of the 32 NFL teams. Ultimately, he ended up joining the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League where he is also a co-owner.
T.O. appearing recently on KESN-FM, spoke about about his year away from the NFL and his IFL future.
"I'm using this as a platform to keep myself in shape," he said according to the Dallas Morning News. "The business end of it is something that intrigued me, being a co-owner with the team.
"This is me transitioning to life after football. I feel I'm physically fit and can play at a productive level to where I can play a couple of more years in the National Football League. That's what I'm pushing for. I'm not going to give up hope just because I'm 38 and just had a knee injury. I think a lot of why I probably didn't play this year, everybody keeps talking about the 'character' issues. The last two or three years relatively I was quiet, knowing that everybody was saying that I had a character issue, I'm disruptive, there's a lot of hype that comes with me, they're saying I'm a distraction here and there.
"That's all hearsay," Owens continued. "If you ask a bunch of my teammates, a lot of it is basically blown out of proportion, the media making me into a fall guy. Overall, will I ever admit that I was a bad teammate? Never. I wasn't a bad teammate. Was I disruptive. No I wasn't disruptive."
Here's the thing: Owens, as far as we know, was never arrested for beating his girlfriend or making it rain or carrying a concealed weapon. But it's also a stretch to say that he wasn't, at one time or another, disruptive. Owens implied that former teammate Jeff Garcia was gay, and then there was the falling out with Donovan McNabb. So, yeah, there's some revisionist history going on because, realistically, Owens could've helped a WR-needy team last season if not for he fact that he was, you know, a huge disruption.
"I feel like I have a lot of football left and I'm looking forward to getting back to playing," he said. "I think the thing ... I didn't get picked up was that a lot of general managers bought into the fact that the media thinks that I'm this bad guy, this rebel guy, this disruptive guy that divides and messes up team's chemistry. They won't allow me to turn over a new leaf. They won't allow me to be a better person. Anytime anything is brought up about me, they keep talking about things that happened five, six, seven years ago. Why don't I get a pass? I've kind of fallen into that villain category and I can't get out of that box."
And at 38, Owens likely won't get a chance, at least not in the NFL.
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