Terrell Owens made news over the weekend, just barely, by saying in an interview that if he doesn’t sign with an NFL team and play this season that he will retire from football. What’s surprising about this is not that Owens may be retiring, it’s that he’s not already retired, after having not played a down in the NFL the past two seasons. What shouldn’t come as a huge surprise is that Owens is speaking about himself as if somebody out there cares, when they don’t; nor should anybody care anymore what comes out of Owens’ mouth.
What exactly does Owens think he’ll bring to the table for an NFL team? Even the teams in need of help at receiver wouldn’t be desperate enough to give him a chance. He’s 39 years old and the only organized football he’s played since the end of the 2010 season has been a 20-day stint in training camp with the Seahawks last year and the 35 catches he made in eight games for the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League after being cut by Seattle and buying himself a spot on the team by becoming a partial owner of the organization. Seattle’s top receiver last season was Sidney Rice, who ended up with 50 catches for 748 yards, which was enough to lead a rather pedestrian group of receivers. If Owens couldn’t make a team with such a lackluster receiving corps last season, what makes him think he’s going to be able to make an NFL roster this year?
If his age, declining skills, and time away from the game weren’t enough for Owens to doubt his ability to still play the NFL, there’s also his prima donna attitude and his childish antics. Even if his skills were comparable to an actual NFL wide receiver, there’s no reason for a team to take a chance on him, considering the stunts he’s pulled and the distractions he’s created in the past. Over the years he has picked fights with his own quarterback, spat on an opposing player, had an alleged suicide attempt, and constantly run his mouth, and he’s done nothing to indicate that incidents like those would be a thing of the past if he were to return to the NFL. Outside of his self-centered touchdown celebrations, there’s no reason why a NFL fan base would implore their team to bring Owens aboard, and even if they did, there’s no reason to think Owens would be able to find the end zone too many times.
Perhaps the most agitating part of Owens letting everyone know his plans is the way he phrased it: saying that he’ll retire only if he doesn’t play this season. It makes it sound like he’s threatening to retire? Even after being out of the NFL for two years, it’s as if he’s arrogantly giving the league an ultimatum: give me a job or lose me forever. In the unlikely event that Owens plays in the NFL this season, would he seriously consider coming back again in 2014 at the age of 40? That sounds even more unrealistic than Owens playing this year. Owens shouldn’t even both waiting for all 32 teams to pass on him one more time. He should just go ahead and do what he should have done two years ago, if not earlier: retire, shut up, and go away.