Terrell Owens’ return to the Dallas area won’t be as triumphant as he hoped. The former NFL star announced Wednesday that he signed to play for an Indoor Football League team in the Dallas suburb of Allen.
T.O. posted a brief message on Twitter in which he said he’ll be a co-owner and player for the Allen Wranglers.
Wranglers co-owner Jon Frankel also reported on Jan. 18 that Owens, 38, and the Wranglers had come to an agreement.
“He’s a great player, a winner, and I’m a big fan,” Frankel said. “I want to make the Allen Wranglers the No. 1 attraction in Collin County.”
The deal is reportedly worth up to $500,000 for the 2012 season. Most IFL players generally earn $400 per game, plus a bonus for winning.
The Indoor Football League is comprised of 16 teams that are spread out across the country but concentrated primarily in the midsection of the U.S. Some teams are located in cities that should be familiar to Owens, such as Chicago and Green Bay. For other teams, Owens will likely need a road map.
Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Grand Island, Nebraska. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Wichita, Kansas. These are all sites of road games for the 2012 Wranglers. There is nothing wrong with these cities – they’re just not places where Owens is used to performing his act.
Terrell Owens had a successful season with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, but suffered an ACL injury in the offseason. Most players his age never fully recover from an injury of that type. But Owens held a workout in October to prove that he was 100% ready – unfortunately, no NFL team reps attended.
This caused T.O. to look for work opportunities elsewhere. He found it in Allen. Wranglers GM and former Cowboys receiver Drew Pearson helped lure T.O. to the team.
The Wranglers’ schedule begins Feb. 25. But don’t get too excited, Owens hasn’t decided whether he’ll play in all games or just ones at home. Nothing builds team chemistry quite like a prima donna who earns a king’s ransom while the rest of the guys make peanuts, and who can’t be bothered with traveling or participating in half of the games.
Had Owens truly been interested in showcasing his football skills in hopes of a return to the NFL, he could have chosen a spot in the Arena Football League (AFL), the league that gets national television exposure every week on the NFL Network. Instead, he’s selling himself as a circus attraction for a half-million dollars. There’s very little TV exposure for the IFL.
Indoor football is also a different game than traditional outdoor football. It’s much faster, and it’s played in much smaller spaces. In particular, wide receivers in indoor football rely on quick acceleration and speed to succeed. At 38 years old, coming off a torn ACL, and not having played football in two years, Owens doesn’t exactly jump off the page as an indoor football superstar.
No doubt the Wranglers will see a boost in ticket sales until the novelty wears off, or until Owens routinely gets smoked on the turf and blows games for his team while trying to turn back time and re-live the glory days – whichever comes first.