T.O. tapped out of options?
With no team biting now, a preseason injury probably will dictate Owens' next move
No one doubts Terrell Owens will get the next big opportunity for a wide receiver, but figuring out which team he'll join has become almost impossible.The biggest setback came in the past week, when the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins said no to T.O. The Seahawks were a fit because of offseason injury problems that were lingering for T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch. With their No. 1 and No. 2 receivers' health in question, the Seahawks had Owens on their short list. However, Pete Carroll decided Monday he would stand pat at receiver and not go for Owens. The Redskins could use another wide receiver threat, but Mike Shanahan opted not to reunite Owens and Donovan McNabb. Plus, there is a good chance that Washington will use more two tight end sets this season. The Oakland Raiders remain a possible destination, but Owens shouldn't hold his breath for that chance. After those teams, the market is spotty. It's pretty clear that Owens won't be going back to one of his past stops: San Francisco, Philadelphia, Dallas and Buffalo. Those bridges are burned. Bill Parcells isn't going to have him with the Miami Dolphins. When the two were together in Dallas, Parcells wouldn't call Owens by name. Much of the landscape for Owens is like it was by March and April. The good teams had addressed their receiver needs without him. Now he is left with the reality that camps have to start and teams have to determine the health of their No. 1 and No. 2 wide receivers. The team that suffers the first serious injury at receiver will be the one giving Owens the first call. Something might start happening the first week of August. This situation won't be like Marvin Harrison, the Indianapolis Colts free agent who waited for all of the 2009 season and never got that call. Harrison had slowed down because of a bad knee. Owens is healthy. Age is against him. Owens is 36. But he'll find work. Unfortunately for him, he'll probably have to wait until August while his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, stays in touch with about five teams.
John Clayton, a recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's McCann Award for distinguished reporting, is a senior writer for ESPN.com.