With his NFL career seemingly over, Terrell Owens has one final message for those following in his path: Watch your wallet.
To the average man, the figures are astonishing, but as Owens tells it, losing close to $80 million during his 15-year career is no reason to feel sorry for the decorated pass-catcher.
"Absolutely not," Owens told ESPN Radio, per the Philadelphia Daily News. "As far as my situation? The thought that I've lost $80 million? That's a little bit skewed considering ... if you look at the years and the contracts that I have had and me not actually completing a couple of those contracts in their entirety. Again, no matter what, I have lost money.
"It's partially my fault because I didn't manage and I wasn't (as) on top of my financial people as I should have (been). Again, who's to say how much I lost? Have I lost money? Yeah. Was it $80 million? I doubt it. But at the same time, I feel like this is a situation for me to go out and speak and let a lot of guys know that are coming into the National Football League, or any league for that matter ... When you have financial advisers that you're dealing with and that are on their team that are supposed to be taking care of their finances."
Owens -- still chiseled, still grinding three hours a day -- is tied for second in NFL history with Randy Moss for 153 career touchdown catches. Moss, 35, ended his one-year retirement Monday, but he'll need to generate more interest than Owens, 38, did this past season.
A recent GQ feature painted a picture of Owens adrift in lonesome surroundings, a man who watched the entire 2011 NFL season float by without a single call for help from some desperate team. This despite a 72-catch, 982-yard season with the Bengals in 2010.
Owens has signed on with the Allen (Texas) Wranglers of the Indoor Football League, whose season kicks off later this month, but it's not the way he hoped to write the final chapter of a career now punctuated by financial troubles.
"I fell victim to the fact that they were all about, you know, 'Go out and play football, concentrate on football, we're going to take care of your financial business,' " Owens said. "I really trusted them that that's what they were going to be doing, and that's not what happened. And when I found out, it was too late."