Owens addresses continuing career, Hall of Fame absence

Photo: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

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Former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens clarified a few points on Wednesday regarding his interest in the Canadian Football League and his reason for skipping the Hall of Fame induction ceremony,

Owens made his comments in advance of the ESPYS telecast.

Owens activated a procedural window that requires the Edmonton Eskimos -- who own his CFL rights -- to offer him a contract or release him from their exclusive negotiation list within 10 days. Owens' agent suggested earlier in the week that Owens was serious about playing in the CFL and might want to return to the NFL.

But, according to ESPN, Owens said Wednesday that he is not "actively seeking to get into the NFL," although he would consider a possibility in the NFL or CFL if an opportunity arises.

"I know that I do have the ability to play. I know everybody sees the shape that I'm in. There's a lot of athletes that play their prospective sports, but there are few guys that defy the odds. I think I'm one of those guys," Owens said.

"It's unfortunate that I haven't been able to continue my career, but again, I'm not actively seeking to get into the NFL; but again, if there's an opportunity for me to play, then yeah, I will entertain that, as well as the CFL.

"If it happens, it happens, but if it doesn't, it's not the end of the world."

Owens also discussed his decision to forgo giving his acceptance speech at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, next month. Instead, he will make his speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Owens said Wednesday he is being criticized based on his "reputation" and not his "character."

"It's always unfortunate and people have a lot to say when someone does something different, but what I'm doing is not wrong," he said.

Owens said he has hired someone to help him write his acceptance speech, which he will give on Aug. 4.

"For me I think, overall, everybody's obviously wondering what went into my decision," Owens said. "I think John Wooden said it best: 'Be more concerned about your character than your reputation.' I think what the noise is right now is more about my reputation than my actual character.

"They're making the narrative more so about me offending the Hall of Famers, and that has nothing to do with it. I respect all of those Hall of Famers that have gone in before me and going in with me and after me. It has nothing to do with those Hall of Famers."

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