NFL Hall of Famer WR Terrell Owen to re-start career in CFL?

According to multiple reports, Terrell Owens is planning a return to professional football.

Owens’ agent, Jason Staroszik, confirmed to several sources including USA T’oday Sport on Tuesday afternoon that Owens is definitely interested in playing in the Canadian Football League and has activated his 10-day signing window with the Edmonton Eskimos.

The signing window, which was activated Saturday, gives the Eskimos until July 24 to either negotiate a deal with the 15-year NFL veteran or release his rights.

The news was first reported by 3DownNation.com, a website that covers the CFL.

Owens, who will turn 45 in December, last played in an NFL game in 2010, though he did play in the newly created American Flag Football League last year.

A six-time Pro Bowl honoree, Owens is set to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame early next month, though he has drawn criticism for opting not to attend the Hall’s official induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio. Owens has said he will instead present his induction speech at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he played college football. The Hall of Fame has, in turn, said it will not individually recognize Owens at the ceremony.

A video was released recently showing Owens running a 4.4 40 yard dash.

As Staroszik explained:

“He wants to get back to playing football. He really believes he has what it takes to still play in the NFL, but if there’s no NFL opportunities being granted to him he’s got a shot at playing here (in Edmonton). If he can prove he can still play up north, I think that will open the eyes of some NFL clubs and maybe have them picking up the phone to see if there’s a possibility of having him on their team.”

Owens has been out of football since 2012 when he had 35 catches for 420 yards and 10 TDs over eight games with the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League. Owens signed with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks during training camp that year but was released. He was selected in the third round, No, 89 overall, of the 1996 NFL draft by San Francisco. He played for five teams — the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals — over 16 seasons, registering 1,078 career catches for 15,934 yards and 153 TDs. He’s ranked second all-time in receiving yards and third in receiving TDs.

Staroszik is convinced Owens can still play at a professional level:

“When guys retire in their 30s, that’s often not a sign of them wanting to be done with football or that their bodies are in bad shape. It’s basically that they’re forced into it by a team. T.O. left the game healthy, he left the game still pretty much on top of his game. When I look at a receiver like T.O., I don’t think he has to be 100 per cent of what he was back in the day to still be effective in the game.”

Whether or not any team will take a chance on the soon to be 45 year old remains to be seen. Interestingly, former Edmonton Eskimo quarterback Warren Moon retired from football at the age of 44 following a six year career in the CFL with the Eskimos and 17 years in the NFL.

 

AFI
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