T.O. thinks “character” concerns kept him out of NFL in 2011

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Most think that no one was interested in receiver Terrell Owens last season because of his age (he’s now 38) or the fact that he tore up his knee, apparently while filming a reality show.

Owens thinks that teams have avoided him because the media has painted him as someone who should be avoided.

“I think a lot of why I probably didn’t play this year, everybody keeps talking about the ‘character’ issues,” Owens recently told KESN-FM in Dallas, via the Dallas Morning News.  “The last two or three years relatively I was quiet, knowing that everybody was saying that I had a character issue, I’m disruptive, there’s a lot of hype that comes with me, they’re saying I’m a distraction here and there.

“That’s all hearsay.  If you ask a bunch of my teammates, a lot of it is basically blown out of proportion, the media making me into a fall guy.  Overall, will I ever admit that I was a bad teammate?  Never.  I wasn’t a bad teammate.  Was I disruptive?  No, I wasn’t disruptive.  I feel like I have a lot of football left and I’m looking forward to getting back to playing.

“I think the thing . . . I didn’t get picked up was that a lot of general managers bought into the fact that the media thinks that I’m this bad guy, this rebel guy, this disruptive guy that divides and messes up team’s chemistry.  They won’t allow me to turn over a new leaf.  They won’t allow me to be a better person.  Anytime anything is brought up about me, they keep talking about things that happened five, six, seven years ago.   Why don’t I get a pass?  I’ve kind of fallen into that villain category and I can’t get out of that box.”

The biggest flaw in Owens’ logic lies in his assumption that teams rely exclusively on the things the media says about a player.  Experienced personnel executives have an extensive network of friends and other connections throughout the league, and people talk to each other about the guys who can be trusted to be good teammates, and those who can’t.

Last year, I had a theory/hypothesis/whatever that Owens should get his knee to 100 percent, find a contending team, and take a shot at going out with a Super Bowl ring.  Despite his reputation for ripping a locker room apart from the inside out, he surely couldn’t do that much damage in a short period of time, could he?

I presented that theory/hypothesis/whatever to a source with direct knowledge of Owens’ behavior in one of his recent one-year-stint cities — and the source laughed in my face.

Regardless of whether the reputation is deserved, it’s not a media creation.  Owens’ NFL career has ended involuntarily in large part because he’s viewed as a guy who is more trouble than he’s worth, especially at age 38 and with a surgically repaired ACL.

68 responses to “T.O. thinks “character” concerns kept him out of NFL in 2011

  1. If you listen to what he says, you will see that he still does not get it. It is always everybody else’s fault. He is forever the “victim”.He was more into entertaining than playing football. His natural ability provided an actual dilemma for GMs. His ability was able to counter his attitude. As he aged that dilemma went away. His skills deteriorated and he still had the “me first” attitude. He tried to hide it but it was there and everybody knew it. A blown out knee on a formerly great WR who is now 38 is enough for any team to pass on him. Throw in all the drama and there is no way he gets back in the NFL. No way, not even for a team so desperate for ticket sales that they would be willing to sign someone as a kind of circus act. He was just not worth it, regardless of what the fan-boys and serial apologists might say.

  2. Wow TO, ya think???

    Team mates describe you as a head case and you present yourself as a head case…. but it’s the media’s fault? Point proven yet again – you quack like a duck and walk like a duck, you’re a messed up duck.

    At every level, still in complete denial… which means the situation is totally self induced.

    Which owner and manager wants to assure more drama on their sidelines and locker room? Step right up boys.

  3. 1.Called one QB gay and another a quitter
    2.Threw his coach under the bus in S.F.
    3. Fought a teammate in the lockerroom
    4. Had a press conference in his driveway with his agent that will live in infamy.
    5.4 kids out of wedlock that he has no relationship or interaction with.
    6. Made 80 million dollars and not a dime to show for it.
    7. Never been a captain in those 15 years
    8. Major knee injury.

    Yeah, I want my team to sign him. T.O. you are a sideshow carnival act in a bush league. Enjoy ya PoPKorn!

  4. The thing he doesn’t realize (because he is delusional) is that he’s basically calling NFL decision makers stupid with his comments. He’s saying they believe the media over “facts” or the research necessary to do their jobs well. The best way to get another job is very rarely to insult your prospective employers.

  5. Defenders say T.O. has been a “model teammate” the last few years and, hey, look at his stats in Cincy — not bad! The problem is that even though he was not a lockerroom distraction, he was nagging Palmer to throw him the ball. Palmer would lock in on T.O. and get him throws in order to appease him and avoid any potential meltdowns. Part of this could be Palmer’s fault but it most certainly is partially T.O.’s as well. And ask any Bengals insider — T.O. didn’t exactly run great routes or follow through on blocking assignments. Plus he’s useless as a special teams player, so why bother?

  6. People want to talk about last year with the Bengals…He went on TV and bashed the Bengals management…jus sayin….TO…you made this bed buddy…time to sleep in it…good luck with the san antonio wranglers…. or whatever….lol

    another waste of talent…he could probably play for at least 3 more years

  7. The story of TO is not going to end well. I hope he lives to a ripe old age and finds happiness, but I think he’s one of those guys who is really going to struggle as he gets older.

    Never mind the football stuff, he strikes me as a guy with some severe emotional and/or personality disorders and I don’t know how he’s going to cope. He won’t be able to ruin a football locker room anymore, so as a person I hope he can eventually get the help he needs to lead a normal life.

  8. in 15 seasons, he was in he news for some kind of serious drama more than 15 times….

    so if you hire TO, you generally have a 100% risk of having one of the following major problems…. and it’s random, you don’t get to pick:
    – nagging QB
    – throwing coach under bus
    – throwing player under bus
    – suicide attempt
    – reality TV program distraction
    – outright fight in locker room
    – outright fight with fan
    – crazy behavior like working out in driveway
    – mid season trade demand
    – mid season contract demand

    and whatever happens… it’s definitely not his fault…. it’s yours

  9. On one hand he says he wasnt a bad apple or a bad teammate, on the other hand he’s asking teams to show that he’s turned over a new leaf and is a better person.

    If you say you weren’t bad to begin with, then why would you want to “turn over a new leaf” and “show that you can be a better person”?

    The first step is admitting that you were a problem guy, and you cant even acknowledge that…

  10. They could let players back into NFL who do drugs, fight dogs but wont let a guy who still has it for telling it the way it is?

    I think he can still play!

    My only real question is how do you lose $80 million dollors? Or is that a lie?

  11. What the hell?

    “Overall, will I ever admit that I was a bad teammate? Never. I wasn’t a bad teammate. Was I disruptive? No, I wasn’t disruptive.”


    “They won’t allow me to turn over a new leaf. They won’t allow me to be a better person.”

    Way to completely contradict yourself in the span of a few sentences.

  12. I could never stand this moron when he was playing.
    A small part of me is amused by his struggles now.
    At least he seems to understand why no one wants him around, even if he thinks it’s everyone else’s fault.

    Now, if he’d just go away…

  13. First he says, “will I ever admit that I was a bad teammate? Never. I wasn’t a bad teammate. Was I disruptive? No, I wasn’t disruptive. ”

    Then he says, “They won’t allow me to turn over a new leaf. They won’t allow me to be a better person. Anytime anything is brought up about me, they keep talking about things that happened five, six, seven years ago. ”

    So, to sum up, he won’t admit he was a bad teammate, he doesn’t think he was disruptive… but then he says teams won’t allow him to turn over a new leaf, and says that thing he did 5-7 years ago keep getting brought up. What things that happened 5-7 years ago? According to him, he was NEVER a bad teammate and NEVER disruptive. So what things happened 5-7 years ago?

  14. He made a huge impact with the Buffalo community while he was here, spending time raising money for charities and making a difference even though he was only around for a year. No throwing under the bus, no fights, no awkward media sessions and no selfish acts. He was a role model player for the Buffalo Bills.

    Maybe playing for a great franchise was the difference maker for T.O.

  15. A league that rarely goes an entire month without an arrest is not gonna let “character issues” keep someone off the field. TO is done because he old and coming off major knee surgery

  16. T.O. thinks “character” concerns kept him out of NFL in 2011

    Of course.

    Every “I’m keeping tabs on you, T.O.!” response here is media driven as well.

  17. T.O. is 100% correct!!!!

    Look at Josh McCown and Jeff Garcia in Chicago!!! They were UFL products in 2010, but political relations kept them employed in the NFL during 2011!!!!

    You need character or a good image to have political relations!!!! It’s the truth!!! McCown had Mike Martz and Garcia had Gregg Knapp!!!

    Plus, we’ve seen Brett Favre act like a diva except ESPN turned his diva act into the image of a competitor and leader!!! Teams sniffed for his services in recent years!!!

  18. Let’s see. San Fran TO suggests his starting QB is gay. Acts up whenever possible. Does that rediculous celebration in the middle of the dallad star after a touchdown. And since his agent forgets to put in paper to make him free agent acts like an even more ass in San Fran to get traded. Players in Baltimore go to bat for him but then TO sabotages that also for whatever reason.

    Philly finally trades for him and gives him a 7 year $49 million deal which they under no obligation to do since his agent had miss the deadline to make him free agent. Was it below what the free agent market could have given him? Sure but it was still a damn good deal for a player with no leverage. Just one year after signing his contract he demands a new contract. when Philly management understanably refuses his deamands TO goes on a scorch earth tactic. he refuses to talk to teammates and coaches, he calls the Eagles classless, he ignites a public feud with Donnovan McNabb suggesting Brett Favre should the Eagles QB, and finally after antics not even mentioned here the eagles suspended him for the last 4 gamed of the season and cuts him the next season.

    Dallas picks him up and signs him to a 3 year 25 million dollar contract. First year was great. Second year he tried to split the locker room. Said Romo threw to his tight end more than receivers because they were friends. Questioned offensive coordinator publicly and in general was his ussual destructive ass of a man. Cowboys release him.

    Buffalo signs him. He was generally well behaved but his production fell off and the Bills decided to go in a different direction. To be fair his QB sucked but after throwin 3 pro bowl qbs under the bus he deserved what he got.

    Next stop whas Cincy where he had a good but not great season. There were some locker room grumblings that I can.t recall but Owens was in the middle of it. Any ways he was cut by Cincy and had been out the league ever since.

    So the number of teams that have already been on the Owens roller coaster with no desire to get back on include San Frab, Philly, Dallas, Buffalo, and Cincy. Throw in Baltimore the team he refused to reprt to after San Fran traded him there and other teams not directly involved with Owens but may have hired front office folkd who use to work for teams Owens played for or are close friends with them….well it may be cold day in hell before Owens plays another down in the NFL.

  19. Case study in TO’s contradictory behavior…

    – 2000: After scoring a 49ers TD in Dallas, he ran to the 50-yeard line star to celebrate, riling the fans. On the ensuing Dallas TD, Emmitt Smith ran to the star and got a standing ovation. TO went to the star again on his subsequent TD and was promptly leveled by Cowboys safety George Teague, again drawing an ovation – this time for Teague.

    – 2007 playoffs: After the Cowboys lost to the Giants in the divisional round, TO gave his infamous sobbing “that’s my quarterback” post-game press conference… as a member of the same team he chose to demonstratively insult 7 seasons earlier.

    Pretty close to the NFL’s version of Dennis Rodman…

  20. Overall, will I ever admit that I was a bad teammate? Never. I wasn’t a bad teammate. Was I disruptive? No, I wasn’t disruptive.

    Why is he talking to himself?Why would someone ask and answer their own question?This used to be the sign of being crazy.

  21. Not everyone in the league knows everyone!!! This guy whom a certain ex-West Va. attorney spoke to must know every little detail and tracking of T.O. when it is likely impossible!!!!

    To say that they DO NOT NEED TO watch TV to get a gist of one’s character is GARBAGE!!! Hue Jackson remains unemployed even though he’s better than quite a few head coaches in the NFL!!! He kept doing interviews with guys like Mike Silver, Rich Eisen, and Fran Charles!!! What happened these “smart” teams thought that he was a crazy man and continue to ignore his skill set and likely listen to reports and TV segments constantly talk about how Hue Jackson is power crazy!!!

    If Al Davis died, but Hue Jackson had additional GM duties because no one else was available then his next employer should just tell him “Hue, just coach!!! We have a GM!!!” But do they do that??? NO!!!! They just fill vacancies with Greg Schiano!!!!!!!!

  22. I have a heard of an ex-West Va. attorney turned quasi-reporter and his “guys” told him that Andy Reid would be fired if he kept Juan Castillo, an AFC team was interested in T.O., Jason Taylor would retire after the 2010 season, Bruce Arians would be fired after the 2009 season, the Raiders players were frustrated with Hue Jackson, and now “I presented that theory/hypothesis/whatever to a source with direct knowledge of Owens’ behavior in one of his recent one-year-stint cities — and the source laughed in my face.”

    I am not asking for revelation of names, but I am now questioning this ex-attorney’s credibility!!!! It’s actually dwindling as much as T.O.’s NFL career!!!

  23. Plus, to prove my point on how not everyone knows everybody!!!! So THEY DO RELY ON TV!!!

    Jay Glazer has been interviewed by a certain former West Va. attorney and the man known as “Glaze” got credit for being well-connected by the ex-attorney!!!

    If the well-connected “Glaze” can talk about how ex-Belichick assistants try to act like dictators because that is how Belichick is portrayed (by who??? Yes … you guessed it!!! THE MEDIA!!!), why is T.O. wrong????

    I don’t know because a guy that “laughed in” the ex-attorney’s “face” knows TOTALLY EVERYTHING when he more than likely listened to Skip Bayless!!!

  24. “I think the thing . . . I didn’t get picked up was that a lot of general managers bought into the fact that the media thinks that I’m this bad guy, this rebel guy, this disruptive guy that divides and messes up team’s chemistry. They won’t allow me to turn over a new leaf. They won’t allow me to be a better person”………..
    Now’s a fine time to want o “turn over a new leaf”, when you’re 38 and don’t have a pot to pee in……ya think maybe you should’ve thought of “turning over a new leaf” when you were 22-23-24-25 yada yada yada. Look at all the teams that did give you a chance to turn over a new leaf, T.O. and you never answered the bell!

  25. If T.O. and Chad Ocho Stinko was as half as good as they think they are. The bungles should be working on a dynasty right now. Yes, they were good in their prime, but you’re not that same guy T.O.

  26. T.O. is crying because there is a “perception” that he’s a bad guy and he can’t get a job because of it. I guess it’s everybody else’s fault…. right T.O.?… Is that what you’re selling? T.O…. everybody thinks you’re a jerk because, well, you ARE a jerk. The fact that you’re trying to blame others for the fact you’re jerkiness is now costing you just reinforces the fact and also further illustrates that you’re an even bigger jerk.

  27. Perhaps T.O. and his old buddy, Donovan McNabb can go and stand in the unemployment line together….commiserating with each other about how the media has given them a bum rap.

  28. All the teams that didnt make the playoffs, could have added T.O, he’s only gonna make your team better. Stop being so damn stubborn

  29. T.O. has never been a problem off the field in his first year of play anywhere he’s been.

    You can look it up.

    It’s only after he feels he’s proven himself on the field that he goes crazy.

    So why wouldn’t a team that feels they are a reciever away from contending take a one-year, non-gauranteed, veteran minimum flyer on the guy?

    If it gets hairy, you cut him. If he doesn’t have it any more, you cut him.

    A move with all upside and no downside.

  30. If you have to ask yourself why you can’t catch a break then the answer will always delude you.

  31. They won’t allow me to turn over a new leaf. They won’t allow me to be a better person.

    Why do you need to “turn over a new leaf” if the old leaf wasn’t a bad team mate; didn’t have character issues and wasn’t disruptive? How do you contradict yourself and still not get why people didn’t sign you.

    Fade away.

  32. I know T.O. can still play the game, his knee is not the same and yes he’s past his prime. If he ran routes correctly(He can run run very well he just likes to do a little improv.) he could contribute to a lot to most teams. Problem, most teams have guys to throw the ball to.

  33. Yup, blame the media… Doesn’t have anything to do with T.O. being a jerk, who can’t even get along with himself!

  34. T.O. and all of the other Diva wide receivers never understand, and they will never get it.
    I was happy to hear one of the announcers during the playoffs mention that more and more teams are going to tight ends. Sorry divas

  35. 1. Why do none of the experts commenting here mention the TO performance for the Eagles?

    2. The level of knowledge of the commenters is reflected by the comment that his qb is Buffalo “sucked”. He, and any who agree, know nothing about quality of qb’s.

    3. Much of his problems are of his own making, but noone matches his route-running.

  36. T.O. is finally where he belongs, where he and he alone can be the big star, he finally gets his wish!

  37. I’ve heard a lot of people in 2012 state the obvious; however, this is Hall Of Fame potential.

    I hope he doesn’t piss anyone off for 5 years.

  38. When are these people going to get it? Like any other business bad mouthing fellow employees and management catches up with you sooner or later.

    Somebody mentioned Hue Jackson, he had the unmitigated gall to try and tell the front office and ownership of a NFL team what they were going to do, and then try to insinuate it was because of race when they didn’t. And you wonder why he isn’t working?

    T.O. bad mouthed players all over, insulted players all over, and tried to make everything about himself. Still people gave him a shot “to turn over a new leaf” because of his talent and abilities. Then he started to lose those abilities and then he got hurt, all the while he really didn’t turn over that new leaf. Why would they give him a shot now? It doesn’t make sense, an expensive receiver that can’t do what he used to and has a longer track record of causing problems than not.

    All I can say is Duh T.O., stick a fork in you, you are done.

  39. I watched him give up on one play after another in Buffalo. If the pass didn’t hit him right in the hands while in stride, he wouldn’t go get it or even defend it. I remember two picks, at least, from that lack of effort.
    GM’s watch the tape. They will put up with any kind of nonsense as long as the production is there.
    Not even the vet’s minimum. Done.

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