T.O.: Hire Me, Improve Your Team's Image

T.O.: Hire Me, Improve Your Team's Image

Times are tough right now, and some people are willing to do or say anything for a paycheck. The same goes for Terrell Owens apparently, who despite being one of this generation's toughest and most prolific receivers, hasn't been able to catch on with a new club after a disappointing year in Buffalo. In fact, he's hardly had so much as a sniff since the Bengals flirted with the idea back in March.

Owens seems to have had enough though, and has taken to defending himself in the media from, among other things, a reputation for being a locker room cancer that he's convinced is preventing potential suitors from coming around. We've witnessed first hand what T.O.'s presence can do to a football team when he's unhappy, but what are his feelings about those past transgressions?

"There were a number of times where prior I probably would have reacted, said something I wasn't supposed to say," Owens told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "I really had some restraint [in Buffalo], very patient."

"They're always focused on what has happened earlier in my career," he complained.

It's true that Owens kept his mouth shut last season, despite what must've been one of—if not the most—frustrating campaigns in his career. He reminds anybody who's willing to listen the Bills were not exactly an offensive powerhouse, with a system their fired offensive coordinator described as a "Pop Warner offense," and an O-line about as effective as a sieve.

Owens would also like to remind people that this notion he is a "bad boy" isn't fair either. He's not the guy racking up DUI's and drug charges, or involved in sexual assault scandals or interstate gambling rings.

"Some of the golden boys that they kind of highlight throughout the course of the season, those are the guys that are getting in trouble," Owens said. "Somehow I get lumped into those topics, which blows my mind.

"I've never been in any trouble. I know right from wrong. I try to make the right choices and judgments when I'm out in the public."

He has a point. All of this comes roughly a week after he publicly assailed ESPN for his inability to find work, arguing their constant portrayal of him as as somebody with character issues is keeping teams from picking up the phone. That probably has more to do with his actions in the past, but we're all familiar with ESPN's frequent lazy reporting, running with stereotypes more often than digging up the real story.

The fact is, Owens has largely caused this situation himself, but he seems to be genuine about just wanting to sign somewhere and play ball. I don't think he'll be left waiting too much longer, either. There are plenty of teams that need wide receivers (the Bears, Redskins, and Seahawks are most rumored to be in the mix), and plenty of time between now and opening day to add one.

They can't go wrong with Owens. Even if he's lost a step or two, he's still a huge target and a tough competitor, and his 55 receptions for 829 yards last season are likely somewhat of a mirage considering the circumstances.

>> Owens insists '09 stats are deceiving [ESPN]

>> T.O. takes aim at ESPN for his lack of a job [PFT]

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.