Terrell Owens is beginning to slowly accept the harsh reality that his football days might be over. As the veteran has already missed out on two season in the league, missing out on three basically makes him no longer an option in the eyes of any team. While he spends his time on the semi-pro bowling circuit, Owens says he will retire if a team does not sign him this season.
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"If I play this year, that'd be awesome. If I don't play this year, I'm retiring. 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," Owens said.
It has been three years since Owens last caught a pass in an NFL game. He played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, starting 11 of 14 games and catching 72 passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns. The team released him after the year and he failed to get picked up by any other team. Owens then spent time with the Allen Wranglers in the Indoor Football League. He played eight games for the Wranglers while also becoming co-owner. When the season was over, Owens got an invite from the Seattle Seahawks prior to 2012, but failed to make the team after training camp.
"I'm not chasing a dream. I can still play football. If you're a team looking for a wide receiver and don't think I can play, tell me why. If it's because you don't like me, then that's fine, but don't tell me I can't still play," Owens said.
The veteran has proven to still be in shape. During his brief stint on the Seahawks, he reportedly clocked a 4.45 40-yard dash time. He spent time with Tom Brady this offseason, catching passes from the quarterback while out in California. Retirement is certainly not his first choice as most teams assume he can no longer be effective.
If one player takes a chance on Owens, it could be the San Francisco 49ers. They recently lost star receiver Michael Crabtree for what could be the season and have considered adding a veteran to replace him. The Baltimore Ravens might also remain an option as the coaching staff has toyed with bringing in one more playmaker. If those two teams do not come calling, Owens career in football is over.