I was momentarily jazzed about the idea of both Terrell Owens (T.O.) and Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson on the same team. The two largest loudmouths (albeit, Ochocinco is quite hilarious) in the league catching passes for the top AFC-North team. However, the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t sign him.
And then there was the idea of him going to the Washington Redskins, to hook up with his former, newly acquired, quarterback Donovan McNabb. However a team with one of the worst records last year wasn’t interested, either.
Terrell Owens remains a free agent. And the six-time Pro Bowl receiver is showing his frustration at being out of work.
Owens, speaking to 104.5-FM in Nashville, said the reluctance of some in the media to move past what he says is bad behavior that’s all in his past is contributing to him being unsigned.
“People have listened to a lot of the commentaries throughout a lot of the media outlets, mainly ESPN, that has my character in question as far as things that have happened in the past. I may do 99 good things right and if I do one thing wrong, ESPN and the people on there … make it out to be the worst thing ever. I think with the years that I’ve had, the last three to four years, I feel like I’ve tried to turn over a new leaf. But still they won’t let go of what I did in the past.”
Owens played last season for the Buffalo Bills, who chose not to re-sign him. He met with the Cincinnati Bengals in March, but no deal emerged and the team signed Antonio Bryant. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, then said Owens was interested in playing for the Washington Redskins, but head coach Mike Shanahan said the feeling wasn’t mutual.
Owens’ demands for salary are likely a factor keeping him unemployed. He’s likely pushing for a bigger deal than teams are willing to offer the 36-year-old who caught 55 passes for 829 and five TDs last year.
His behavior last season in Buffalo, Owens said, should be a sign that he’s capable of being a happy camper. “There was definitely a lot of opportunity for me to fly off the handle with the way things went,” Owens said. “I stayed composed.”
But dodging a reputation as a diva can be difficult. Consider that in March, when the Bengals and Owens were wooing, Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer said he was prepared to deal with an “extravagant” receiver.