When a 38-year-old wide receiver spends a full year out of the NFL and ends up with the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League, he might want to start thinking about his NFL career in the past tense.
But Terrell Owens is not your average wide receiver.
On Wednesday, he was introduced as an owner/player for the Allen Wranglers and said of the IFL, "I'm not using it as a route to get back in the NFL." Then he went on to talk about all the NFL teams he thinks he could help. Via Star-Telegram.com:
"You look at the NFC Championship and the AFC Championship. You look at those games, especially the NFC championship. Their starting receiving corps had one catch for three yards. You look at the AFC championship. The Baltimore Ravens the past two years brought in two guys they thought could get the job done. It comes down to crucial catches and they didn't make those catches. So I am definitely aware of my talents. I have never been shy of confidence. For whatever reason, I didn't play this year. That doesn't mean I can't play the game. Everybody knows I'm in great shape. It's just a matter of getting the opportunity."
Maybe it makes me a sucker, but I think he's right. He can still play in the NFL.
But that doesn't mean he will.
I haven't seen Terrell Owens play since he tore up his knee, but if we assume he can run and cut at the same level he did pre-injury, then yes, there are going to be receivers on NFL teams in 2012 that are not as good as Terrell Owens. But they won't be 38 years old, they'll be worth developing for the future, and they won't bring a media circus to town with them.
Owens is right, too, when he says that there were playoff teams with serious wide receiver deficiencies. But no matter how bad a shape anyone was in, they never thought to call Terrell Owens. Maybe it'll be different in a couple of months when a team can get Owens for a full training camp and preseason, but it's still going to require a gigantic leap of faith from some team. I wouldn't bet on it.
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