Terrell Owens

T.O. 'not actively seeking' NFL return, expounds on Hall of Fame decision

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AP

T.O. 'not actively seeking' NFL return, expounds on Hall of Fame decision

Terrell Owens still is showing off the kind of spectacular shape he is in, even at 44 years old. Just look at his social media pages, and you'll see T.O. working out with today's NFL stars and running a blazing 40-yard dash. 

Even though he's about to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is Owens looking to make a comeback? 

On Tuesday, Canada-based agent Jason Staroszik told TSN and ESPN that T.O. "100 percent" wants to play football again. On Wednesday at the ESPYS, the former 49ers wide receiver clarified his comments. 

Owens says he isn't "actively seeking to get into the NFL," but he did say he would entertain other opportunities with football, including the CFL. 

"I know that I do have the ability to play," Owens said, via ESPN.com. "I know everybody sees the shape that I'm in. There's a lot of athletes that play their prospective sports, but there are few guys that defy the odds. I think I'm one of those guys.

"It's unfortunate that I haven't been able to continue my career, but again, I'm not actively seeking to get into the NFL; but again, if there's an opportunity for me to play, then yeah, I will entertain that, as well as the CFL."

The hot topic with Owens lately has been his decision to not attend the Hall of Fame ceremony. Instead of being in Canton, Ohio next month, Owens will make his own speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

"It's always unfortunate, and people have a lot to say when someone does something different, but what I'm doing is not wrong," he said.

Owens said he has been working every day on his acceptance speech. As far as what went into his decision to not attend the ceremony, Owens looked to legendary basketball coach John Wooden. 

"For me, I think, overall, everybody's obviously wondering what went into my decision," Owens said. "I think John Wooden said it best: 'Be more concerned about your character than your reputation.' I think what the noise is right now is more about my reputation than my actual character.

"They're making the narrative more so about me offending the Hall of Famers, and that has nothing to do with it. I respect all of those Hall of Famers that have gone in before me and going in with me and after me. It has nothing to do with those Hall of Famers."

T.O. negotiating football comeback with CFL team

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AP

T.O. negotiating football comeback with CFL team

In 2010, former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens played the last NFL down of his 15-year career. Eight years later, and weeks before a Pro Football Hall of Fame induction he won't attend, the 44-year-old is planning to return to the pro ranks, wherever that may be.

Canada-based agent Jason Staroszik told TSN and ESPN that Owens "100 percent" wants to play football again, and is willing to play in Canada in order to do so. 

To that end, Owens activated a 10-day negotiating window with the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos over the weekend, as Canadian football news site 3 Down Nation first reported on Monday and ESPN confirmed on Tuesday. That window closes on July 24, and Edmonton will relinquish his rights if they do not offer Owens a contract. 

The Eskimos can retain his rights into 2019 with any offer, including one for the minimum salary of $54,000. Staroszik told ESPN that Owens is unlikely to accept a minimum contract.

Edmonton added Owens to their reserve list in June, one day after Owens posted on Instagram that he was clocked running a 40-yard dash at 4.44 and 4.43 seconds, by two separate stopwatches. 

Owens last tried a pro football comeback in 2012. He played with the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League, and then was cut by the Seattle Seahawks in training camp that summer after catching two passes in two preseason games. 

Marcus Allen calls T.O.'s decision to skip Hall of Fame ceremony 'mind-boggling'

Marcus Allen calls T.O.'s decision to skip Hall of Fame ceremony 'mind-boggling'

Former Raiders running back Marcus Allen knows a thing or two about the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

August marks 15 years since his induction, which came six years after his retirement from the NFL. He told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kelli Johnson and Monte Poole during The Happy Hour on Friday that the honor's meaning was "hard to put into words."

Consider Allen surprised, then, that soon-to-be-inducted Terrell Owens will skip the ceremony in Canton, OH on August 4. 

"It's mind-boggling to me because I think there is no greater platform in the football world than the Hall of Fame to really sort of say 'thank you' to all the people that have helped you get there," Allen said from the American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament in Lake Tahoe. 

"No man's an island. We didn't get there by ourselves," Allen continued. "My father [introduced me] and I wanted the world to know who supported me [along the way]."

Allen added that he thinks Owens will regret the decision in the long run. 

The former 49ers wide receiver will commemorate his induction on August 4 with a speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at 3:17 p.m. CT (1:17 p.m. PT), hours before the festivities in Canton. The Hall of Fame won't mention Owens at the ceremony, but will maill him his gold jacket that day.