Agent: Terrell Owens 'wants to play' in NFL, sees CFL as 'next-best option'

Retired wide receiver Terrell Owens, soon to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, wants to return to the field.

Owens, 44, 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.

Jason Staroszik, a Canada-based agent who is representing Owens on the matter, said Owens "100 percent" wants to play football again at the pro level.

"He wants to play in the NFL," Staroszik told ESPN. "But if he can't, the CFL is the next-best option."

The news was first reported by 3 Down Nation, a CFL-focused website.

There is no known interest among NFL teams in Owens, who last played with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010. He played briefly in 2012 for the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League and then went to training camp with the Seattle Seahawks that summer. The Seahawks released him Aug. 26, 2012.

The Eskimos have until July 24 to decide whether to offer Owens a contract or relinquish his rights. By CFL rules, a contract offer -- even if it is for the CFL's minimum rookie salary -- would allow Edmonton to retain Owens' rights for another year.

Owens is unlikely to accept a minimum contract, Staroszik said. But if nothing else, activating the window will put an end date on Edmonton's exclusivity of Owens' rights. The Eskimos would have to drop him from their negotiation list no later than July 14, 2019.

Owens announced last month that he would not attend his Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Instead, he will give his speech at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, where he played college football.

He has continued to train as if he is an active player, and recently posted video to social media that indicated he is still running the 40-yard dash in under 4.45 seconds. The Eskimos added him to their negotiation list immediately after the post.