There was a time when the interest between Terrell Owens and the Bengals was mutual, but that ship has sailed. Right now the courtship is one-sided.
For the last month people close to Owens have been talking about how much he wants to play for the Bengals. Owens even mentioned the Bengals during an Associated Press interview on Tuesday. His agent Drew Rosenhaus also mentioned Cincinnati during an interview on ESPN's NFL Live on Friday.
The Bengals keep being brought up for a variety of reasons - it's the only team he has visited so far during free agency, the friendship with Chad Ochocinco and Owens' desire to come to a team on the cusp of making a playoff run this year.
However, there are just as many reasons why the Bengals are unlikely to take a second look at Owens - the drafting of Jordan Shipley and Dez Briscoe, the signing of Antonio Bryant to a four-year, $28 million contract and the fact that Owens struggled in Buffalo last year with just 55 receptions.
While some fans are still dreaming of Ochocinco and Owens on the same team, those odds are even more remote after the drafting of two receivers. Shipley has the potential to become that clutch third-down inside receiver that was missing last year and Briscoe's knack for making the tough catches look routine at Kansas could give him the edge for one of the final two spots among the six receivers the team is expected to keep.
To Owens' credit, he did keep his mouth shut and said the right things during a frustrating year in Buffalo, but many still see him as a problem player throughout the league - a 37-year old problem player.
Rosenhaus also said on Friday that five teams have expressed an interest in Owens, including a new one that has "aggressively entered the picture." During the owners meetings in March, Rosenhaus said there were three teams. In either case, he's still unsigned.
By the time the season kicks off, Owens will be back in the league and don't be surprised to see him end up in Seattle. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (sports hernia) and Deion Branch (knee) are coming off surgeries with Golden Tate, Deon Butler and Mike Williams being the backups.