T.O. knows concerns about character hampering his job search

CULVER CITY, Calif. -- Terrell Owens still needs a new team, and he said Friday "there is definitely interest" in his services. He'd even consider playing with Donovan McNabb again.

But what's stopping Owens from finding a home? Character issues, the free-agent wide receiver claims.

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"I've heard a lot of the reasons why I'm not on a team right now," Owens said on NFL Network's NFL Total Access. "It's because people feel I've disrupted some teams, I'm a cancer -- I've heard all those things. They've said that for the last five, six years. The teams I've been on, if you ask in that locker room how I've been as a teammate and as a person, it's contradictory to what's been displayed out there."

Owens pointed out that the Bengals never mentioned his reputation during his March visit -- "If character was such an issue, I don't think Cincinnati would have brought me in," he said -- and revealed that McNabb, his former nemesis with the Philadelphia Eagles, discussed a reunion before being traded to the Washington Redskins.

"He already knew his situation prior to being traded, so we talked about the idea of actually playing together," Owens said. "That was something I welcome with open arms, and he as well. If that was a situation to come about and that would happen, we know what we could do on the football field together."

The Redskins have been mentioned as a possible fit for Owens, as have the Raiders, Ravens, Jaguars, Bears, Dolphins and Bengals. NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche reported last month that several teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, made preliminary calls about Owens this offseason, but the receiver wouldn't reveal his suitors Friday.

"There are some teams out there that have created some interest," Owens said. "And a few of those teams asked to be anonymous -- I know Seattle has come out and said they were interested -- so other than that, we're just waiting for the right opportunity.

"You know, last year, we jumped on board with Buffalo, and that was a team that was interested in myself, and I just felt like I always wanted to be where I was wanted, and Buffalo jumped at the gun at that, so I spent my year in Buffalo."

The Bills gave Owens a one-year, $6.5 million contract last offseason, and some believed the mercurial receiver is seeking a similar deal now.

Not so, Owens said, although he wants fair pay.

"If I'm going to be brought in as a starter, I would like to be compensated as a starter," Owens said. "Myself and Drew (Rosenhaus, his agent) know there are some factors with that situation, and would I be negotiable with those numbers? Of course, I would."

Owens, 36, had just 55 receptions for 829 yards and five touchdowns with the Bills last season, but he has 1,006 catches for 14,951 yards and 144 TDs during his 14-year NFL career. Despite those numbers, the feeling around the NFL is that Owens will not sign until a team desparately needs a receiver, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported Thursday.

La Canfora reported that he recently talked to a general manager "who is running a team that a lot of people would say has need for a wide receiver" and that executive said his club isn't targeting Owens. The GM also doesn't see a team being interested in the receiver until an injury occurs.

Owens said he doesn't have a problem competing for a roster spot. He also acknowledged he might not find a team until training camps begin in late July.

"I know there's a process where teams have drafted players, they're looking at free agents," Owens said. "They have to go through minicamps, the OTAs and eventually into training camp, and there are some things that may transpire. There are 32 teams out there, so you never know what could happen. So I'm looking forward to the opportunity of wherever I may play."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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