Several NFL teams, including the St. Louis Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, have maintained contact with free-agent wide receiver Terrell Owens this offseason. However, a Rams source scoffed at a Saturday report that the team was in serious pursuit of Owens or aggressively courting him, calling it "overzealous."
Also, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was dismissive of the idea of signing Owens during a Tuesday interview with the team's official Web site. Said Lewis: "We've been down that road. I don't have a concern that we need to add anybody (at receiver)."
Owens has made no secret of his desire to join Chad Ochocinco in Cincinnati and visited the Bengals early in the offseason, but they haven't offered a deal that has gotten his attention. Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, also said Friday that a report the receiver would sign with the Bengals and a deal was imminent was "not true."
The reality is any team that truly wanted Owens could make a substantial offer and expedite a move. And at this stage in free agency -- six months into the process for a healthy player such as Owens -- there isn't a whole lot of courting and pursuing that needs to be done. Rosenhaus sent out communications to all NFL teams throughout the offseason, letting them know the general salary parameters that his clients, including Owens, are seeking.
Furthermore, Owens is trying to catch on with a contender if at all possible, and teams such as the Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- who could use him -- don't meet that criteria. It's also unlikely that those teams would make a substantial financial contribution for a 36-year-old player who in essence would be a one-year rental.
"It has to be the right situation for me," Owens told NFL Network's Stacey Dales on Friday. "I'm going in on my 15th season, so I want to go to a team that's on the cusp of making it to the playoffs and really having a team really want me and feel that I can come in and be an asset to their ballclub. Other than that, I'm still working out and keeping myself in shape, and I'll be ready."
Still, it would be stunning if Owens isn't signed at some point during training camp and the preseason. Rosenhaus has said he anticipates a deal in the coming week or weeks.