On Sunday, hours after giving his Pro Football Hall of Fame acceptance speech in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 600 miles from the rest of the inductees in Canton, Ohio, Terrell Owens was back on a football field.
“I know I’m truly blessed and I can still play the game,” Owens told Chattanooga Times Free Press‘ Stephen Hargis after the workout. “What I did out there today is just a small little snippet of what I can do. I just appreciate coach for the opportunity. I guess he wanted to assess and see where I am physically.
“It’s key when you’re trying out to put your best foot forward, and I’m very pleased with what they saw and what I did out there. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame and come back and play, why not me? I know I can do it; it’s just a matter of someone giving me the opportunity.”
Back in June, Owens posted a video to social media showing him blazing a 4.43 40-yard dash.
As NFL.com’s Ralph Warner pointed out at the time, T.O.’s 4.43 would put him in a four-way fourth-place tie for the fastest time among the crop of wideouts at the 2018 NFL combine. One caveat: Those players all ran on turf while Owens was on a track. Either way, THE MAN IS 44 YEARS OLD. It’s impressive. Which brings us back to Sunday’s workout.
“I wanted to see him run a lot of different routes and work him out for a while to test his stamina,” Jones explained. “I know he can still fly on the track, but I wanted to see if he could consistently run his routes or if he got tired. I have tryouts whenever it’s possible so that former college and pro athletes have the chance to prove themselves and see if they can improve our team. But I’ve never been faced with anything like this. I mean, he’s 44 years old but still runs a 4.4-second 40.
“An agent reached out to me to say that T.O. was interested in a tryout. I gave him the dates we would be available, and it just happened to work out that the timing was perfect for him since he was in Chattanooga for his ceremony. I told him it would be better to come here for the tryout because there wouldn’t be the media frenzy that would be created if he crossed the border to work out in Canada.”
The tryout took place in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, which is 30 miles west of Chattanooga.
It’s been two weeks since the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos released Owens from their negotiation list, which means he’s free to sign with any other CFL team.
In early June, Owens, who hasn’t played in the NFL since 2010, indicated that he’d like another chance to play in the league, specifically with the 49ers. NFL teams haven’t shown any interest in Owens, which explained why he was interested in the CFL.
While the CFL remains a real option, it seems unlikely that he’ll ever sign with an NFL team; if San Francisco, for example, decides to bolster its wide receiver corps, more likely candidates include Dez Bryant, Jeremy Maclin or Jaelen Strong. None are older than 30 (though, to be fair, none are faster than a 4.43, either) and have been on NFL rosters as recently as last season.