Terrell Owens Will Retire If He Doesn’t Play in 2013, So Terrell Owens Is Probably Retired

Terrell Owens Will Retire If He Doesn’t Play in 2013, So Terrell Owens Is Probably Retired

It’s been more than two years since Terrell Owens played a down in the NFL. Now it looks like his most recent comeback bid may have been his last. In an exclusive interview with CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman, the six-time Pro Bowler admitted that if he doesn’t make somebody’s roster this year, his career is over.

Owens last played for the Bengals in 2010, hauling in 72 passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns for a last-place team. He suffered a torn ACL in the offseason that followed, and went unsigned as a free agent. The Seahawks kicked his tires during training camp last summer, but the once larger-than-life superstar receiver could not make the team.

[For more: T.O. calls ProFootballTalk "Satan"]

As it turns out, those three weeks in Seattle may have been the last of T.O.

"If I play this year, that'd be awesome," Owens said in an interview with CBSSports.com. "If I don't play this year, I'm retiring."

"That's just me being realistic," he said. "I want to play again. I want to go out on top with a team. I think I can still play, but if I don't sign with a team, it would be time to retire. I have to be honest with myself."

"I'm not chasing a dream," Owens added. "I can still play football. If you're a team looking for a wide receiver and don't think I can play, tell me why. If it's because you don't like me, then that's fine, but don't tell me I can't still play."

Of course, at this point it would be surprising if Owens gets another chance. He’s been out of the league for two seasons, and turns 40 in December. His reputation as a prima donna and a locker-room cancer isn’t doing him any favors on the back end of his career, either.

With his time in pro football likely up, there has already been some discussion about Owens’ legacy, specifically whether or not he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Detractors will point to T.O.’s antics both on and off the field, but the numbers speak for themselves. If this is it, he exits the game behind only Jerry Rice with 15,934 yards receiving, and ranked third all-time with 153 touchdown catches.

There will always be a sinking feeling in Philadelphia over what could have been had Owens not gone berserk over a contract dispute in 2005. For one year and half of another though, Eagles fans had a chance to watch one of the greats – a member of the 2000s All-Decade Team – do his thing on a weekly basis. Who would want to take that back?

>> Owens wants one last NFL chance – but can he outrun his past? [CBSSports]

Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

Phillies sign OF Daniel Nava, LHP Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts

The Phillies made a couple quiet additions as the winter meetings ended, signing veteran outfielder Daniel Nava and lefty reliever Sean Burnett to minor-league contracts.

Nava, 34 in February, is a left-handed hitter who can play the outfield corners and first base. He came up with the Red Sox and became a fan favorite in Boston in 2010 as a 27-year-old rookie. Some Phillies fans will remember him for hitting a grand slam off Joe Blanton in his first major-league plate appearance.

Nava had a few decent years in Boston, the best of which was 2013, when he had 536 plate appearances and hit .303/.385/.445 with 29 doubles, 12 homers and 66 RBIs. 

Nava's numbers and opportunities have dropped every year since. He was designated for assignment by Boston in 2015, latched on with the Rays, signed the next year with the Angels and was traded late in the season to the Royals.

Over the last two seasons, Nava has hit just .208, albeit with an on-base percentage 99 points higher because of his 30 walks and 10 hit by pitches.

Burnett, 34, has spent five of the last seven seasons in the Nationals' bullpen. He had a 2.85 ERA in 283 appearances from 2009-12 and parlayed that success into a two-year, $7.25 million contract with the Angels. However, he barely pitched in 2013 and 2014 for the Halos because of an elbow tear. He returned to the Nats last season and allowed two runs in 5⅔ innings.

Burnett, perhaps more so than Nava, has a chance to fill a role with the Phillies if he can stay healthy. He's shown he can get outs at the highest level, posting a 2.38 ERA in 2012 with 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings and a 2.14 ERA with 8.9 K/9 in 2010. That was a long time ago now, and Burnett's fastball has dipped from averaging 90-91 mph to 88.

According to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith, Burnett will receive a $1.25 million salary if he makes the team and can earn another $1.75 million in incentives based on his number of appearances.

Burnett has an opt-out date of March 26, meaning he can become a free agent a week before the regular season begins if it looks to him like he isn't in the Phils' plans.

Nava's chances at cracking the opening-day roster seem longer because the Phillies are expected to make more depth signings between now and the start of camp. They've prioritized finding some offense in the corner outfield and that could come in the form of more minor-league deals, a guaranteed contract or trade. One potential fit I examined last week was Mariners outfielder Seth Smith, a hitter more proven than Nava (see story).

These minor-league deals were commonplace for Phillies general manager Matt Klentak last offseason, when the only free agent he signed to a major-league deal was reliever David Hernandez. 

Last season, three players who were signed to minor-league deals with invites to spring training made the team on opening day: outfielder Cedric Hunter, utilityman Emmanuel Burriss and reliever James Russell.

Others, such as former closers Edward Mujica, Ernesto Frieri and Andrew Bailey, failed to make the team out of camp. Bailey eventually earned a call-up; the other two didn't.

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixer Lou Williams lighting it up with Lakers off the bench

Former Sixers point guard and Meek Mill collaborator Lou Williams is enjoying quite the run off the bench for the Lakers recently.

Over Los Angeles' last four games, Williams has posted totals of 40, 38, 24, and 35 points. 

The six-man is averaging 34.5 points per game over the stretch, and his 137 points are the most off the bench in a four-game span by any player since 1970-71, when stats were first recorded, per Elias Sports Bureau, via ESPN. Williams is now averaging 19.3 points this season, which is 4.4 more than his highest average with the Sixers.

Williams isn’t the only player who used to play for the Sixers that is playing well for the Lakers this year. Nick “Swaggy P” Young, who also comes off the bench, is averaging 13.3 points per game. Just a few weeks ago, Swaggy P stole a pass intended for Lou Williams, and then proceeded to hit a game winner against the Thunder. Swaggy P, however, is currently sidelined with a right calf strain, but is getting closer to a return.

"Lou Will" was also talked about last April during Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game, when he was beefing on Twitter with another former Philadelphia athlete, LeSean McCoy.