This just in. Terrell Owens is still an incredible athlete. The 48-year-old Pro Football Hall of Famer and five-time All-Pro purportedly ran a sub-4.5 40 in a race against a couple of his fellow Fan Controlled Football league receivers this week. Their watch clocked T.O. at 4.38 seconds, even if you allow for human error, he still ran a sub 4.5 at almost 50 years old. Could he still play in the NFL?
For him, this was as close it got folks. 🤫🏃🏿♂️💨 https://t.co/k9rxVOORsA
— Terrell Owens (@terrellowens) August 24, 2022
Owens has made it clear that he believes he could still play in the league. He went so far as to offer his services to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Antonio Brown left. The former All-Pro has been recently playing in the newly created Fan Controlled Football league, where he caught three touchdown passes this season.
I mean COME ON @terrellowens
— Fan Controlled Sports (@fancontrolled) May 29, 2022
That Owens outran James Harden (not that one) and Andrew Jamiel, 27 and 25 respectively, it’s easy to convince yourself that Owens could play in the league.
If Owens’ time of 4.38 seconds was legitimate, he would’ve had the seventh-fastest time among receivers at this year’s NFL Combine. Adjusting for human error as stated earlier and assuming it was a 4.43 would have put him in a tie for 12th at this year’s combine.
But playing a 17-game NFL season isn’t about straight line running speed, even for a receiver. Can he cut? Get in and out of breaks? Gain separation at the line of scrimmage? More importantly, can his body recover week-to-week with that grind?
At 48, the answer is probably no.
Still, you can celebrate the fact that Owens is still very impressive at 48 and still a better athlete than every Joe sitting at home on his couch watching NFL Sunday Ticket.
At his peak T.O. was the best receiver in football. His five All-Pro selections were all first team. He was also a six-time Pro-Bowl selection, led the league in receiving touchdowns three times and is a member of the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade team.
He is the only player in NFL history to score a TD against all 32 NFL teams and the only player in NFL history to score two or more touchdowns against all 32 teams.
T.O. is also the only player in NFL history to have an 800-yard receiving season with five different teams (Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers). He is the only player in league history to have a 150-yard receiving game with five different teams (Bengals, Bills, Cowboys, Eagles, 49ers), and the only player in NFL history to have a 200-yard receiving game with three different teams (Bengals, Cowboys, 49ers).
His 2001 season as a member of the San Francisco 49ers was probably his best. Owens had 93 receptions, 1,412 yards and 16 touchdowns. Leading the league in the latter. The 49ers were 12-4 that season, but lost in the wild card round to the Green Bay Packers. Owens only had four catches and 40 yards receiving in a not-so-stellar day from the 49ers offense and quarterback Jeff Garcia.
In 2005 as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles T.O. broke his leg seven weeks before the Super Bowl. Unsure if he would return in time for a chance to win a title the Eagles marched on and advanced to the big game.
In one of the great performances in Super Bowl history, Owens returned and played in 62 of 72 offensive snap. He caught nine passes for 122 yards on 14 targets, the most of any player in the game. The Eagles lost to the New England Patriots, but Owens’ performance cemented him as a big-time championship-level player.