After not catching a pass in the NFL since 2010 with the Cincinnati Bengals, polarizing wide receiver Terrell Owens has announced his plans for retirement if he is not signed by a team this season, according to CBSSports.com.
If I play this year, that'd be awesome. If I don't play this year, I'm retiring. That's just me being realistic. I want to play again. I want to go out on top with a team. I think I can still play, but if I don't sign with a team, it would be time to retire. I have to be honest with myself.
I'm not chasing a dream. I can still play football. If you're a team looking for a wide receiver and don't think I can play, tell me why. If it's because you don't like me, then that's fine, but don't tell me I can't still play.
Owens hasn’t been able to find long-term work in the NFL for the last two years—a knee injury in 2011 hurt his chances at a comeback as well—and now it finally looks like the talented wide receiver is getting the memo that teams don’t want to be involved with the media attention that inevitably follows him.
Owens may be in great physical shape and may still have enough skill to be a worthy depth player on any roster in the league, however, the drama in San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas during his career has spooked franchises away from taking on a potential locker-room risk.
The wideout got his last chance to play in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 during training camp, but after not fitting exactly what the team was looking for, Owens was released after less than a month.
There is little doubt that Owens should be in the Hall of Fame on numbers alone, with 1,078 career receptions for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns. No matter what people think of him as a man or as a teammate, his sheer statistical dominance warrants a place amongst the greatest of all time.
There is always an outside chance that a team devastated by injuries at wide receiver could look to Owens over the next season, but with so many other low-profile options that can offer the same production, NFL fans have likely seen the last of the polarizing star in action.
At least he still has his budding bowling career.