The last time Terrell Owens played in the NFL, Randy Moss started the season in New England, Wes Welker was still on the Patriots and Aaron Hernandez was just a rookie. Times have certainly changed over the past 29 months, but Owens still thinks he can play and is making a case to do so for the Patriots.
Even at 39, Owens is still angling for a return to the NFL and believes that he can still be a productive receiver. He’s seen all of the drops, missed assignments and miscommunications by receivers around the league during the first two weeks of the season, and he smells the opportunity. Owens is convinced he can do much better than the receivers some quarterbacks are throwing to now, including Tom Brady.
“Obviously the situation with the Patriots, they are starting out with a lot of new guys,” Owens told The Boston Globe. “You never know how management is thinking, what their process is as far as bringing in veterans.”
Owens, who last played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010 (72 catches and nine touchdowns), is well aware of his age, which is likely a sticking point for many teams,. H’es also aware of the history of off-field issues and drama that followed him in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas, although, he doesn’t see any of it as a cause for concern.
“I understand they may look at my age as an issue but I’m not your average 39-year-old,” Owens said. ”I think if you watch me work out, I’m not really concerned about injuries or anything like that. Plus, I’ll be getting paid the vet minimum, so it’s not like I am asking for any extra incentive in my contract.
“I know that there’s some character issues that teams are worried about that’s understandably noted, but I am a different person than I was 10 years ago.”
The Patriots are currently working with a cast that includes Julian Edelman and a trio of rookies at receiver. The inexperience of the group has been highlighted by the offensive struggles in the first two weeks of the season, which has raised the notion of adding a reliable veteran to the group — at least until Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski return from injuries.
Then again, Owens might not exactly fall under the “reliable” label, anyhow. He didn’t prove as much during a tryout with the Seattle Seahawks last year, where his penchant for drops saw him cut before the final preseason game.
Owens did work out with Brady during at least one session in Los Angeles this summer, which may perk up some eyebrows about a possible union between the two. And, sure, it is a fun idea to toy around with, but the reality of the Patriots adding a player like Owens to the fold is less likely than bringing Moss or even Chad Johnson back for another go-round. The chances are slim to none.