There are plenty of professional NFL players still worth millions of dollars in retirement, but that isn't the case when it comes to Terrell Owens.
Through 15 seasons in the National Football League, Owens was one of the best wide receivers in the league history and was paid accordingly, but you wouldn't know it when you see his net worth these days. Yes, T.O. might still be cooking recruits on the gridiron at age 48 (and might still be able to play in the NFL), but his bank account is far from what it used to be.
So, how did he lose his money?
From Nobody to Somebody
Terrell Eldorado Owens was born to L.C. Russell and Marilyn Heard in Alexander City, Alabama, and he attended Benjamin Russell High School. After finally getting the chance to start on his high school football team his junior year, Owens showed his talent and earned a spot at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
While in college, T.O. was more than a football player. Not only did Owens play wide receiver for the Mocs, but he was also on the basketball team and ran track and field. He was extremely talented and was seriously impressive during his four years, catching 290 passes for 4,163 yards and 42 touchdowns. Playing on an FCS team didn't help Owens' national status, which led to him being drafted a little later than he should have.
During the 1996 NFL Draft, Owens was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 89th overall pick in the third round. This allowed him to play alongside his childhood hero, Jerry Rice.
A Lengthy NFL Career
Owens made his debut against the New Orleans Saints and played eight seasons in San Francisco, his longest tenure with a team as an NFL player. Three of his five First-Team All-Pro selections came while he played for the 49ers, and four of his six Pro Bowl selections were there as well.
In 2004, Owens joined the Philadelphia Eagles where he played for two seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance. Owens moved on to play for the Dallas Cowboys over three seasons. This came after one of the most memorable moments of his career taking place in Dallas, when Owens posed on the star at midfield in Dallas after scoring two touchdowns, a move that would've set social media ablaze if it happened today.
Owens finished his NFL career playing one season with the Buffalo Bills, then his last with the Cincinnati Bengals. One of his most memorable moments came against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX, when he played against the advice of doctors on a broken leg and caught nine passes for 122 yards.
He finished his football career with 1,078 catches, 15,934 receiving yards and 153 receiving touchdowns. He sits at eighth all-time in NFL history in career catches, third in yards and third in touchdown receptions.
T.O. holds numerous NFL records, including being the only player to score a touchdown against all 32 NFL teams.
After the 2011 season, he signed with the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League. After that season, he briefly signed with the Seattle Seahawks, but was released less than three weeks later. Owens was finally inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2018, although he famously chose not to attend the ceremony and instead gave a speech at his alma mater.
He Broke Down on The T.O. Show
In 2009, Owens was the star of a reality show based around himself, publicist Kita Williams and close friend Monique Jackson. The show was based around managing Owens' personality while also trying to find love for the star receiver
. The VH1 show lasted for two seasons, but it could have lasted his entire career and afterwards with his life off the field.
$45,000 Per Month in Child Support
Owens had four children — Terique Owens, Atlin Owens, Dasha Owens and Kylee Owens — with four different women. Owens faced money issues later in life partially due to the fact he is paying so much money in child support. In an appearance on "Dr. Phil" back in 2012, Owens said that he paid about $45,000 per month in child support.
Owens worked as a model, and he appeared on reality television shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and MTV's "The Challenge." He was also featured on the cover of Madden NFL 19 as part of his many endeavors after football.
Terrell Owens' Net Worth is Less Than $1 Million
T.O. has been playing in the new Fan Controlled Football league as of 2022, and in May he was the subject of the league's first ever trade.
Throughout his career, Owens made a ton of money. He signed contracts worth $30 million in salary and also added more in various bonuses. In total, he made around $80 million through the NFL.
Surprisingly, it's reported that Owens never signed an endorsement deal during his career, but later worked with fast food chains and a fantasy sports platform in retirement.
Still, the former football star's salary didn't mean much with how he lived his life and the money owed to his children and their mothers. According to Celebrity Net Worth, Terrell Owens' net worth is estimated around $500,000 in 2022.
Owens is a Hall-of-Fame talent, larger-than-life personality and one of the game's greatest football wide receivers ever. Much like many former professional athletes, that doesn't guarantee lifelong financial stability.
This article was originally published October 27, 2019.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.