Chad Ochocinco wants Terrell Owens back in Cincinnati next season, but the outspoken Bengals wide receiver recognized that his own future is equally uncertain.
"I would love to see Terrell come back next year," Ochocinco said Tuesday while hosting Versus' "The T.Ocho Show" without his usual sidekick, Owens, who was absent after having season-ending surgery on his left knee. "As far as myself, I don't even know if I'll be back next year."
Ochocinco has one year left on a six-year deal that he signed with the Bengals in 2006. He is scheduled to make $6 million in base salary in 2011.
Ochocinco and Owens, who are longtime friends, nicknamed themselves "Batman and Robin" after the Bengals signed T.O. to a one-year deal at the start of training camp, expecting him to help boost their passing game. But the Carson Palmer-led offense continued to struggle and ranks 21st in the NFL.
Ochocinco lobbied hard for the Bengals to bring Owens on board during the offseason, and T.O. responded with a strong season in which he caught 72 receptions for 983 yards and nine touchdowns. But Ochocinco recognizes his influence has waned after 10 seasons and expects big changes following a season in which the Bengals at one point lost 10 consecutive games.
"There was a point and time when I think I had the power to influence some of the decisions made. I think those days are sort of over," Ochocinco said. "I'm not sure what direction we might be going in as a team, but I don't think I really have that edge to ask for help or ask for us to have another chance. I think changes are going to be made within the organization, and the changes that are going to be made are going to be really significant."
As for Owens, he has said he would like to return to the Bengals next year and play for at least two more seasons. However, questions loom after Dr. James Andrews performed season-ending surgery on the 37-year-old's left knee Monday in Birmingham, Ala.
The Bengals officially placed Owens on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday. The team didn't make a corresponding move to replace Owens on the roster.
Owens tore cartilage in his left knee two weeks ago, but he kept playing. He aggravated the injury while making a cut on the opening series of a 19-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, forcing him to hobble off the field.
Owens ranked among the NFL's top six receivers in yards and catches entering the Cleveland game.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.