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Terrell Owens Not Done Despite Lack of Interest in California Workout

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 05: Terrell Owens #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL game against the New Orleans Saints at Paul Brown Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Saints won 34-30.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Phil WatsonCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2011

Terrell Owens had a nice workout for a lot of his friends in the media on Tuesday.

The erstwhile NFL wide receiver wanted to showcase his healthful vigor following knee surgery that was performed this summer and to show teams in the league he's ready to play.

There was a lot of press at the workout. People who work for actual National Football League teams, on the other hand? Nary a one.

A lot of pundits made a big deal about the perceived lack of interest in Owens—who did receive an offer of sorts on Wednesday, only it was from the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League.

The Rush "offer" was packaged with a new single-game ticket plan the AFL team is introducing next spring for the 2012 season. Good for the Rush, who obviously have someone running the show who knows a little about shameless promotion.

However, the people running NFL teams also know a thing or two about media relations and, well, with crews from ESPN and the NFL Network filming the workout, why would a team bother to send a scout or anyone else from their front office to the spectacle in Calabasas?

Instead, they can watch the film and decide whether or not to quietly approach Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, rather than have a dozen microphones shoved into the face of their talent evaluator at Owens' private session.

This is a season like none other in the NFL, the season played without the benefit of a real offseason. That has led to some fairly awful football being played in copious amounts.

This also leads to a lot of teams still believing—correctly or not—they are still realistically in the hunt for the playoffs.

A lot of teams are hesitant to bring Owens in because of his baggage, the sheer volume of which requires its own cargo plane at this point. That's why he was forced to settle for low-ball deals in Buffalo and Cincinnati each of the last two seasons.

However, at some point, some contender—either legitimate or pseudo—will look at its roster, look at its record, look at the remaining schedule and decide to roll the dice on Owens.

Despite the fact he'll be 38 years old in early December, Owens is still in freakishly good condition, that much was apparent from the shirtless spectacle in southern California.

It will boil down to the physical tangibles Owens brings to a team being more important than the intangibles that have led to locker-room disharmony and disruption for much of Owens' career.

That having been said, T.O. was still loud and obnoxious the last couple of seasons, but he didn't seem to be overtly toxic to the team chemistry of either the Bills or Bengals, his teams in 2009 and 2010.

How close is Owens to being NFL ready? Based on what I saw of the workout, I wouldn't sign him to be my No. 1 receiver because he's past the point of having the requisite explosiveness and ability to separate from defenders for that role.

But he'd definitely be worth a look as that kind of underneath receiver who can move the chains and occasionally use his strength to break away from defenders for yards after the catch.

The experts were as divided on T.O. as fans appear to be, but here's the thing: All 32 teams don't have to love Owens. Only one does.

If he can get one team to convince itself that the talent outweighs the trainload of distractions, the T.O. Show is right back where it used to be, coming to us on Sundays from a stadium near someone.

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