Terrell Owens Has 'No Doubt' He Can Still Play in NFL at Age 47: 'I'm Not Washed Up'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 19, 2021

Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens flips a football before an NFL football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens said he's still interested in making an NFL comeback at age 47.

Owens, who last played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, told TMZ Sports in an interview released Thursday he recently ran a 4.4-second 40-yard dash.

"I'm not washed up," T.O. said. "... Once you know how to ride a bike, you know, you don't forget how to ride that bike. ... There's no doubt, 100 percent, that I can play in the National Football League today."

Owens was a dominant force at his peak, highlighted by a stretch where he scored at least 13 touchdowns in seven seasons over the span of 10 years from 1998 through 2007.

The Alabama native was still productive for the Bengals in 2010, tallying 72 catches for 983 yards and nine scores in 14 games. He suffered a torn ACL during the 2011 offseason, however, and hasn't played in another regular-season game despite consistently seeking a possible comeback.

He signed with the Seattle Seahawks in August 2012 but lasted just three weeks on the roster before being released. That was his most recent NFL contract.

Yet, Owens told TMZ he spoke with somebody in the NFL as recently as this summer who told him to stay prepared in case his phone rings.

"With that conversation that I had, they asked me to keep myself in shape—anything can happen," he said. "And, so, that's what I'm doing."

While T.O.'s physical conditioning was always an advantage when he was terrorizing secondaries on a weekly basis in the late 1990s and early 2000s, trying to compete with players in their 20s when he's a few years from 50 would be an incredibly difficult task.

The UT-Chattanooga product has nothing left to prove anyway. He was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 2018 after a career where he made 1,078 catches for 15,934 yards and 153 touchdowns. He was one of the most unstoppable playmakers in league history when at his best.

It sounds like Owens plans to remain in shape indefinitely while hoping to get a call, but it would be a major surprise to see him play in another regular-season game.

George Blanda holds the all-time record for oldest player in the NFL at 48, though he'd mostly transitioned into a full-time kicker for the final nine years of his career.