Terrell Owens is 44 years old. He hasn’t caught a pass in the NFL since 2010. When it comes to football, the only thing left for him to do is make his acceptance speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this year when he’s inducted as part of the Class of 2018.
Yet Owens now says he wants to play for the 49ers again.
In response to a tweet from 49ers general manager John Lynch this past weekend about Owens’ work for the Alzheimer’s Association, Owens responded with a proposition, reports Eric Ting of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Tweeted Owens: “Thanks. I know Jimmy G is gonna need a big play receiver this year at some point. Let’s make it happen. #StayReady #VetMin.”
“VetMin” is short for veteran’s minimum contract, which would be just over $1 million for Owens.
Though Owens may or not be joking, don’t expect to see him in a 49ers uniform even for a day. But, it’s a big change of heart for the former Niners star who played his first eight NFL seasons in San Francisco, with five 1,000-yard seasons. During that time he led the NFL twice in touchdown catches and once in yards per game. As Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group noted Sunday, Owens, who was at the Warriors’ NBA Finals Game 2 against the Cavaliers, has had a bad relationship with the franchise since he was traded to the Eagles in 2004 over a contract dispute.
As Inman reported, Owens said he didn’t want to represent the 49ers when he goes into the Hall of Fame. In January he tweeted: “There’s NO LOYALTY with organizations so why should I have any. I gave 181% to that organization with no reciprocity.”
Owens has made noises about returning to football before. As Ting reported, Owens spent part of 2014 training with other NFL players for a possible comeback, and told Sports Illustrated in 2015 that he never officially retired.
George Bland at 48 was the oldest player ever to play in the NFL. Since the 1990s, three quarterbacks have played in the league at Owens' age 44: Steve DeBerg, Vinny Testaverde and Warren Moon.