The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for Fanhouse.com

The end is nigh

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Here's how we know that Terrell Owens is just about done:

We haven't seen much of him -- an occasional mention at best -- on ExcesSPN. Granted, the Worldwide Leader has been busy with LeBron (six straight hours last Thursday) and the late George Steinbrenner (gratefully pausing to chronicle some of his misdeeds with his accomplishments.) But this is a "news'' outlet that devoted most of the 2005 season to T.O; was dubbed "TOPN'' to me by one of the NFL's most prominent executives, and as recently as a year ago was breathlessly reporting about the crowds showing up to see him during the Buffalo Bills' workouts.

It's very simple. T.O. is 36. He will turn 37 on Pearl Harbor Day. He might still be a useful receiver for a contender -- he had 55 catches for 829 yards and five touchdowns last season for a team that lacked a functional quarterback and plays in a climate where passing is subject to weather after Nov. 1 (and sometimes before it.)

Normally, he'd get a job.

But his demand (or agent Drew Rosenhaus') for $5 million for the season is way beyond what anyone will pay for a 36-year-old receiver whose skills have to be eroding. And his past is killing him with those teams that might be in the market for a veteran wideout -- his antics got him run out of San Francisco, Philadelphia and Dallas when his talent level was higher and few coaches and most players want nothing to do with the swarms of media his signing will attract. Yes, some of them will be sitting on Brett Favre's lawn in Mississippi, but there are certainly enough to go around.

So now T.O. is saying that he's made "mistakes'' in the past with his antics, practically begging someone to sign him.

Here's the deal:

If Rosenhaus and Owens moderate their salary demands by at least 50 percent, someone will pick him up. And, hopefully, sit him down and tell him to be seen and not heard -- he actually behaved quite nicely in Buffalo last season.

If not, he can retire or "retire'' and let the clock tick five years when he's eligible for Canton and another debate will start about whether he's deserving -- his numbers say yes, the distractions he provided say no.

Best guess.

Maybe someone who loses a receiver during camp or the exhibition season (that's inevitable) will sign him.

If not ...

Start the clock.

And the debate.

By Dave Goldberg  |  July 15, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  Buffalo Bills , Free Agency , Terrell Owens Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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