Why Terrell Owens came out of retirement for the Fan Controlled Football League

The last time football fans saw Terrell Owens on a field was 2010, with the Cincinnati Bengals. Owens, then 37, racked up 72 catches for 983 yards and nine touchdowns — an impressive total for a player seemingly nearing the end of his career.

Despite being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, Owens never officially called it quits on his football career. The five-time All-Pro wide receiver has eyed a return to the gridiron for years. Now, his opportunity has come knocking: Owens will join the Fan Controlled Football league, the league announced on April 6. The news was first reported by Reuters’ Frank Pingue.

Owens, 48, is expected to join the Zappers, a team already featuring former Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

“I’m looking forward to throwing with Johnny or whomever the quarterback may be,” Owens told ESPN’s Tim McManus. “If it’s Johnny Football, it doesn’t matter if it’s Pee Wee Herman, as long as they throw the ball where it needs to be and … put it in my catch radius, I’m going to do my best to make some stuff happen with it.”

Owens hasn’t caught a football in 12 years. Still, he’s earned praise for his physique, cultivated through a series of intense workouts he documents on his YouTube channel.

Owens also made waves back in 2020, keeping pace with Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill in a 40-yard dash recorded for his YouTube channel. Owens was given a slight head start over Hill, but the Chattanooga alum showed that he still has wheels, trotting down the field with relative ease.

TO is not the only high-profile name to feature in the FCF, which is entering its second season. Former Browns standout Josh Gordon turned out for the Zappers while facing an indefinite suspension from the NFL in 2021. Gordon recorded four catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns in his debut last year. He was recently picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs for the 2022 season.

The FCF is a 7-on-7 league that allows fans to make major decisions for their favorite teams — including playcalling. The league is expanding to eight teams this season, doubling its size from last year.

For the league, Owens’ arrival adds to the intrigue surrounding the upcoming season. Games start on April 16 and will be streamed on fuboTV. Owens will wear a microphone during games, the league announced.

Meanwhile, for Owens, the FCF offers another platform for him to prove his capabilities as a player — a potential springboard for him to relaunch his dreams of a return to the NFL.

“I can do a lot of things that people feel I can’t do. It’s not a matter of me going out there and trying to prove anybody wrong,” Owens told McManus. “I just don’t like the notion that people see it, even in the National Football League, it’s almost like, OK, you’ve reached a certain age at whatever point in time in your life and they feel like you can’t play anymore or your skills decline to a degree. Of course everybody’s skills at some point may decline, but I think there are certain people that kind of defy those odds, and I think I’m one of those people.”

Terrell Owens Career Ranks

Career Totals All Time Rank
Receiving Yards 15,934 No.3
Receiving Touchdowns 153 No.3
Receptions 1,078 No.8

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