Unsigned T.O. blames image as 'cancer'

Updated: June 5, 2010, 11:27 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

As a free agent receiver, Terrell Owens is wide open.

And as a 14-year NFL veteran, he doesn't think he resembles anything close to a Hail Mary.

In an interview with the NFL Network, Owens said the perception of him as a possible problem in the locker room has played a role in his failure to land with a team this offseason.

Owens If character was such an issue, I don't think Cincinnati would have brought me in.

-- Terrell Owens, regarding his visit
with the Bengals

"I've heard a lot of the reasons why I'm not on a team right now," Owens told the NFL Network on Friday. "It's because people feel I've disrupted some teams, I'm a cancer -- I've heard all those things. They've said that for the last five, six years. The teams I've been on, if you ask in that locker room how I've been as a teammate and as a person, it's contradictory to what's been displayed out there."

Owens said a trip he made to the Cincinnati Bengals in March helped illustrate his value as a receiver.

"If character was such an issue, I don't think Cincinnati would have brought me in," he said.

Though Donovan McNabb has played down the notion, Owens reiterated he and the quarterback have discussed a reunion.

"He already knew his situation prior to being traded, so we talked about the idea of actually playing together," Owens said of McNabb, the former Eagles quarterback who was acquired by the Washington Redskins in April. "That was something I welcome with open arms, and he as well. If that was a situation to come about and that would happen, we know what we could do on the football field together."

The Ravens have also been reported as a possible suitor for Owens. But like the Bengals, Baltimore committed to another receiver. The Ravens traded for Anquan Boldin and signed Donte' Stallworth; the Bengals signed Antonio Bryant.

"There are some teams out there that have created some interest," Owens said. "And a few of those teams asked to be anonymous -- I know Seattle has come out and said they were interested -- so other than that, we're just waiting for the right opportunity."

Owens still views himself as a premier player, but some teams have a different feeling.

"You know, last year, we jumped on board with Buffalo, and that was a team that was interested in myself, and I just felt like I always wanted to be where I was wanted, and Buffalo jumped at the gun at that, so I spent my year in Buffalo."

At some point this summer, some team is going to lose a receiver to injury. When it does, Owens could be a prime candidate to come in as a replacement.

"I know there's a process where teams have drafted players, they're looking at free agents," Owens said. "They have to go through minicamps, the OTAs and eventually into training camp, and there are some things that may transpire. There are 32 teams out there, so you never know what could happen. So I'm looking forward to the opportunity of wherever I may play."

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter was used in this report.