2012 NFL Free Agents: 7 Reasons Terrell Owens Is Still on the Market

David Levin@@davidlevin71Senior Writer IIMay 28, 2012

2012 NFL Free Agents: 7 Reasons Terrell Owens Is Still on the Market

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    In 1996, the San Francisco 49ers took a flier on a 6'3", 225-pound wide receiver from Tennessee-Chattanooga named Terrell Owens. Since then, the enigma has been a staple in the NFL for controversy.

    While there has never really been a question about his production as a receiver and as a playmaker, the wide receiver, who is now 38 years old, has been relegated to playing for the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League (Owens is a co-owner).

    Owens is as known in sports circles for his touchdown celebrations as well as for his penalties for those celebrations. And now, with the end of his career in sight, it is not known why some team would not want to take a chance on a player who can still produce.

    While he was ultra successful at playing "Robin" to Jerry Rice's "Batman" in the Bay Area, and was ultra controversial in Dallas and Philadelphia, he fizzled out in Buffalo and his last destination, Cincinnati.

    Now, this may be Owens' last chance at success. A six-time Pro Bowl selection, Owens holds or shares several National Football League records, and figures in the all-time top five in several receiving categories, including yards and touchdowns.

    But for these following reasons, Owens is still on the free-agent market.

The NFL Is No Place for a Circus

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    While the argument can be made that there are plenty of "divas" in the NFL, Owens always brings the worst with him wherever he goes.

    Yes, San Francisco, Dallas and Philadelphia were stops where he was "the man" in the passing offense, but there was never a dull moment with Owens in the lineup or in the postgame interview.

    Yes, Owens, even brings the media to his home when he is holding out for a new contract.

    And when the same argument can be made that a player like Tim Tebow is a media circus waiting to happen, Owens' baggage has been more negative than positive.

    How many teams want to take a flier on that?

He Isn't Getting Any Younger

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    How many receivers have been productive in their late 30s? Owens is almost 40, and while he can still be a "threat" he is not the receiver he once was.

    He would be trying to be productive like the likes of Jerry Rice, Irving Fryar and Cris Carter, all productive at 35 or older.

    Owens is good, but may not be that good.

    I see him as a third-down receiver, much in the same way Torry Holt was for Jacksonville. But Owens also cannot expect to be the center of the passing offense anymore, and his ego may not allow him to be a complementary player.

Bill Belichick Doesn't Want Him

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    He isn't Randy Moss.

    After being with Tennessee two seasons ago, Moss called it quits and was not the player he used to be. New England was the perfect fit for Moss after stops in Minnesota and then Oakland. Now, the man who has had success with building teams with problematic players (Bill Belichick) had his run with Chad Johnson and had little production.

    Randy Moss is now "un-retired" and in San Francisco in the best possible situation. He does not have to be the centerpiece of the offense and can contribute.

    Owens would need to find the "perfect" situation for him to be an integral part of. There are only a few that could take a "gamble" on him, and New England would be one of them.

    But it is not known if Owens would be welcomed in New England. He and Tom Brady clashing would not be a good thing.

He Is a Quarterback Killer

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    Just ask him—Owens never does anything wrong; it is always the quarterback that does not understand him.

    Ha Ha Ha!

    Owens always finds something that is wrong with the passer, whether it is Jeff Garcia or Tony Romo or Donovan McNabb. Buffalo's passing game was not as substantial for his talent, and Cincinnati had a good passer in Carson Palmer and another receiver in Chad Ochocinco who was supposed to team with him to get the Bengals to the Super Bowl.

    All three are now out of Ohio, and the Bengals made the playoffs with a rookie at quarterback and star rookie receiver.

    Whoever takes Owens on as a player better have a quarterback with skin of leather and ear muffs to block out the challenges from his mouth.

He Is Old News

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    When you look at the best receivers in the NFL, you think Calvin Johnson, Victor Cruz, Vincent Jackson and maybe someone like Roddy White. All of these guys are in their mid 20s and exciting on the field.

    Is Owens still on the radar as an "exciting" player?

    Have the fans gotten tired of the Owens on the field or the sidelines, yelling and losing his cool? At 27 years old, teams and fans may have excused his ways and his attitude, but now, at 38, there is an expectation that he is grown up.

    Personally, I believe if there is a camera in his face, Owens will see it as a way to promote himself. He has never truly been a team player.

Can He Be a Teacher as Well as a Student?

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    He has to enter a team situation where he knows he not only has to come in and play with younger talent, but that he also must come in and help teach the younger players to be better professionals.

    It's not going to work.

    Philadelphia may have been the best situation for Owens, and he threw Donovan McNabb under several buses.

    He could be a great teacher for young teams who need someone to be a leader (Jacksonville, Miami, Minnesota and Cleveland). None of those teams are going to the playoffs any time soon.

    And all four have quarterback situations that would be scrutinized the first time Owens does not get the ball at his request.

When It's All Said and Done, the Knee May Still Be the Issue

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    The truth of the matter is that reality television may have ended Owens' career.

    Ain't that a shame.

    According to a story on blacksportsline.com, Owens hurt himself by suffering an ACL injury that would keep him out of the NFL for at least six months during the 2011 season due to the injury.

    Knee injuries can be tough to rehab, and with his advanced age, healing may have taken longer and may be a risk teams are not willing to take.