T.O.'s star might be permanently dimmed

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports presents a compelling piece on the precipitous downfall of Buffalo Bills receiver Terrell Owens.

Robinson writes that while making his rounds for a story before Tuesday's trade deadline, he gathered enough feedback on Owens to paint an unfavorable picture.

Robinson quotes unnamed executives and an anonymous New York Jets defender, who don't have many nice words for Owens or Buffalo's offense. Also quoted in the article is legendary Bills coach and former general manager Marv Levy.

Owens is on pace for 40 receptions, 573 yards and fewer than three touchdowns, his worst season since he was a rookie with the San Francisco 49ers in 1996.

From Robinson's story, an unnamed AFC executive:

"He's hit the wall. I think he has. I think it's done or close to it. He'll have a couple of games here and there where he shows up, but big picture, long term, I think it's done."

An unnamed general manager:

"I hear that he’s one of the greatest of all time, but I don't buy it -- never did. He drops balls. He's not a natural catcher. He's not a great route runner, blah, blah, blah. He's big and strong and good with the run after the catch, if he catches it. I can give you 100 negatives. It’s just not worth it.

"Someone else [on another team] will say the opposite. [They'll say] ‘We'll get him to catch better. We'll get him to do what we want.' [They'll say] 'He's a threat just being on the field. He'll open up other players.' Well, when you're talking about that, you're talking about using a guy knowing he's a failure and who might shock you with a touchdown or two. But basically you're sacrificing him to free up our other good players. That's what I’ve been hearing for two years, and that's the death march right there."

An unnamed Jets player, who said Owens isn't responding well to contact:

"I don't think we doubled him once [Sunday at the Meadowlands]. Buffalo will make you hit a wall. People thought Randy Moss hit a wall, too, didn't they? How motivated is [Owens] to play in Buffalo? How excited is he about the offense? They just canned the no-huddle [stuff] because it wasn't working. They're not finding creative ways to get him the football, either."