No, your reading comprehension has not receded, former San Francisco 49ers star wide receiver (and 2018 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame) Terrell Owens is coming out of retirement to play pro football. According to a report by Reuters Sports Editor Frank Pingue, Owens is joining the FCF Zappers of the Fan Controlled Football league.
Owens is 48 years old and has not played in a regular-season NFL game since he tore his ACL during the 2011 offseason. During the prior season, though, Owens put up a respectable statline, hauling in 72 receptions for 983 receiving yards and nine receiving touchdowns with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Already 37 when he tore his ACL, most assumed that Owens’ playing days were done. However, Owens had different ideas. Always credited for an incredible ability to take care of his body and stay in shape, Owens held a workout for NFL teams just seven months after his injury, but no teams showed interest at the time.
Still, that did not stop him. Owens signed with the Allen Wrangles or the Indoor Football League in January of 2012, where he recorded 35 catches, 420 receiving yards, and 10 receiving touchdowns before he was released. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks a few months later but was cut from their training camp roster after less than a month. In the decade since Owens has popped up in Canadian Football League rumors from time to time and even played in a startup Flag Football League.
Owens was drafted by the 49ers in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft out of Chattanooga, and he quickly proved to be one of the best receivers on the team. Before long, he was earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections with the Niners’ electric offense, helmed by quarterback Jeff Garcia.
Unfortunately, things eventually soured between Owens and the organization (primarily because of former head coach Steve Mariucci). The star receiver ultimately forced a trade to the Philadelphia Eagles, but not before he racked up more than 8500 receiving yards and 80 touchdowns in a Niner uniform. In 2019, Owens was inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame.
The Fan Controlled Football league is a 2017 startup where teams play 7-on-7 indoor football in two 20-minute halves. A live fan vote determines all offensive plays (and replay reviews). Assuming Owens joins the Zappers, he will be teaming up with one of the league’s biggest stars: former Texas A&M and Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. Hopefully, Owens and the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner team up for some memorable celebrations.
So 2022 continues going just as everyone expected. After all, why wouldn’t Johnny Manziel be slinging passes to Terrell Owens in a pro football league where fans call the plays?