Past his prime, Owens is out of options

Past his prime, Owens is out of options

Published Jun. 6, 2012 11:28 a.m. ET

That former Dallas Cowboys star wide receiver Terrell Owens would be on the verge of financial and personal ruin is one of the least surprising stories of the past couple of weeks. He plays the victim's role better than anyone in the history of the NFL, and so it's predictable he would blame his issues on everyone else, including the media.

Owens announced Tuesday he was parting ways with his longtime agent, Drew Rosenhaus. And even for a shark like Rosenhaus, this had to be one time he didn't mind getting fired. In reality, it's more likely the ubiquitous agent finally decided he'd had enough. Owens was his highest-profile client for years, but now he's a washed-up player with nowhere else to turn.
Owens, recently cut by the Indoor Football League's Allen Wranglers for not making a scheduled appearance at a local children's hospital, has signed on with Dallas-based agent Jordan Woy.
"I am making changes in my life so I can continue my career as a professional football player," Owens said in a statement released on his website. "I have hired Jordan Woy as my new agent. It was important for me to hire someone who believes in my ability to help an NFL team and believes in me as a person."

Woy will soon regret this affiliation. He's a legitimate agent with a solid reputation who will now have to speak on behalf of this emotionally dependent player. Make no mistake that Owens was a great player for a lot of years and might someday take his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But at this stage of his life, he's become a national punchline. He became a partial owner/player for the Texas-based Wranglers because he desperately needed the money. In case you missed his recent appearance on "Dr. Phil," the four different mothers of his children didn't paint a flattering portrait of Owens as a father. That he would agree to appear on the show reinforces the idea that his need for attention continues to trump anything resembling common sense.

Owens claims that people he trusted took advantage of him financially. He famously invested $2 million in an Alabama entertainment complex that hoped to feature electronic bingo. Not surprisingly, the concept tanked. The last time I bumped into Owens, he was patiently waiting outside the visiting locker room at American Airlines Center to say hello to Kobe Bryant. He was once a superstar, much like Bryant, but now he's become another cautionary tale. We've seen a lot of famous athletes go broke, but I don't recall any of them seeming this pitiful.
Cowboys legend Drew Pearson is the general manager of the Wranglers. He signed Owens as a publicity stunt, and it worked. Folks in Collin County were eager to see the player who had once starred for the Cowboys. Owens didn't have to travel to every road game, per his contract, but it turns out the team would've preferred he make a trip or two down the stretch.

Owens told that he planned to sue the Wranglers for $160,000 over his release, but something tells me he'll never see that money. We're watching a 38-year-old man realize that he's run out of revenue streams. He's basically a Jose Canseco starter kit. Owens' next step will be charging folks to come spend time at his condo in Los Angeles.

You know it's bad when Mike Tyson's marveling at your financial losses, as he did while appearing on Mike Missanelli's radio show in Philadelphia.
"Well, listen, I can only say about myself," said Tyson. "It took a good 18, 20 years for me to go broke, but (Owens) got broke pretty quick. It happened quick! We saw him, heard about him signing this contract, but from what you told me, he busted his whole bill. That can happen, man, when you take liberties for granted."

Owens is searching for one last payday in the NFL. But in addition to being past his prime at 38, the former wide receiver has the well-earned reputation for undermining quarterbacks and entire locker rooms. He might have mellowed in his time with the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, but he's not to be trusted.

Why Woy would waste his time with such a fraudulent athlete is beyond me. But he should ask for some money up front, in case there's any left.